Very recently, I spotted an article on my Facebook shared by one of the wild horse pages that I follow. The title was Decision Made on Fort Polk Wild Horses. If you are interested in reading this article, it is here. This took me very much by surprise, as I had no idea that Fort Polk had wild horses, as I’m sure that you did not know either. Here is my question though that I have thought about since I found out. If the horses are living in the Kisatchie National Forest, can they legally be removed by anyone?
This is all still news to me. So I’m going to back up a bit to May 1st, 2016 when another article was posted about these horses titled Fort Polk Drafts Plan for Getting Rid of Trespass Horses. Here is the article. The first question that pops into my mind happens when I am reading that second paragraph about how they are trying to get rid of any potential danger the horses may be for the military personnel at this particular base… Ya’ll are soldiers! cowboy on up and go around. They are horses. They are much more afraid of you than you are of them. Now, having said that and what I said earlier, I have also seen pictures of horses grazing along side traffic and we all know that that is often where bad things tend to happen, when wild horses meet vehicles. That said, lets continue down with the article. I will give the Army this, they want the input of the people that this will affect, and they don’t want to act without this input. So that is actually pretty neat. Moving on to the 5th paragraph, I personally would think that having wild horses around as a distraction could be the makings for stronger-minded soldiers. Soldiers who won’t get distracted by their chaotic surroundings whilst in firefights overseas or here at home, whatever their jobs may be. Though, unlike what we have seen with the BLM, the Army wants to find something that works, which is pretty amazing in my eyes.
Next the article discusses how the Army plans to go about removing these horses, doing so using a cyclic process in which 10-30 horses will be gathered at a time and nonprofit animal rescue organizations will get “first dibs” to start. These organizations will have 10 days to claim any animals that they can take. If not, the Public will then have a 7 day opportunity to grab up any animals that catch their eye. However, if the horses are not snatched up by either, they will then see the inside of the dreaded auction house. And quite frankly, we all know what happens to too many horses who get that far, though it is my honest hope that the Army knows how to pick out kill buyers and bar them for the sales of these horses. I understand that they are trying to be optimistic here, as they should, but having seen what it can turn into, it can be dangerous to assume that everything will work out fine and dandy. All of this said, I think I pretty much like the people trying to get this all figured out in the most rational, safe, and beneficial way possible.
Going back to the first article that I had mentioned, there are more reasons why it seems that the Army is already ahead of the BLM. In the 4th paragraph, the article discusses how the Army used the National Environmental Policy Act to analyze many alternatives, including those that were brought up by the public in their comments. The Army decided that there would be a minimal impact on the environment, and therefore there is no need for an Environmental Impact Statement, although there will be some impact to some degree as it is hard to say how long the horses have been keeping the grasses in check in that area. The article then goes on to discuss in about the same detail as the other on the cyclic process that has been decided on. However, in paragraph 8, the article notes that the Army will also be searching for a landowner to take large groups of horses as well as searching for another government entity to take responsibility for these horses…
Don’t pick the BLM… I furthered my research by going to the Final Environmental Assessment for the Elimination of Trespass Horses on Fort Polk, Louisiana. Keep in mind that this is a very long document, I only printed the first 11 pages because I thought that those would benefit me the most for the time being, as I may revisit the rest of the document in small intervals. So give it some time to load.
In the mean time, the first body page of this article makes mention on the background and reasons that the Army is pursuing the trespass horses, making safety a marked point. Then the pages begins to describe the proposed courses of action, numbering them one through seven. Many of these Courses of Action are essentially the same thing: Adopt, Give Away, Sell, Relocate, Euthanize. What I find highly interesting, is that five out of the seven contain the word “euthanize” and the only two that don’t is Course of Action 1 and Course of Action 7. COA 7 is the one that has been chosen by the Army to be used. I find this very important, as well as unique because the Army once again has set themselves apart from the BLM. I would like to note for the record that there are 700-750 trespass horses at Fort Polk and draw your attention to 4. Anticipated Environmental Effects. In the second sentence on this section, you’ll read this sentence: “It is anticipated that the horses will continue to have a negligible negative impact on the environment at Fort Polk during the 1 to 3 years they remain on Fort Polk while Fort Polk engages in the chosen COA.” Wow. We are talking about an Army town having decided that the horses don’t really harm the land, they just cause some traffic and safety problems… Meanwhile back on Capitol Hill, we have bureaucrats crying out about how one horse does more damage to the range than 47 cows. Food for thought ya’ll. I’ll leave you with those thoughts, that the American People are placing a little too much reliance on out government and not enough faith in the people who want to try to improve our country.
Thank you for reading this, I know it’s long, much love and blessings to you all and I’ll talk at you next time!