Dear President-elect Trump:
Overpopulation of Congressionally designated “wild” horses and burros threaten the long-term health of our rangelands while negatively impacting multiple-use of our public lands across 10 western states. In order to ensure healthy rangelands for future generations, the incoming Trump Administration and Congress must work together to direct timely and meaningful changes to how our nation manages wild horses and burros.
The previous administration spent over half a billion dollars on wild horse and burro management over the past eight years but failed to achieve sustainable results. Wild horse and burro populations on Bureau of Land Management lands grew from 28,563 animals at the start of 2008 to over 67,027 animals today—more than doubling the population and far exceeding ecologically-sustainable levels. Frustrated by this inadequate management and the resulting rangeland damage, a diverse group of concerned organizations formed the National Horse and Burro Rangeland Management Coalition to support a common goal: rangeland health.
The National Horse & Burro Rangeland Management Coalition includes more than 18 national organizations, encompassing a wide range of sportsmen, livestock grower, state and local government, wildlife, and land conservation organizations and professional societies. Collectively, we represent over 10 million Americans and 6,000 local governments, and focus on commonsense, ecologically-sound approaches to managing horses and burros to promote healthy wildlife and rangelands for future generations. Healthy rangelands allow native wildlife to thrive, livestock to graze to support local communities, free-ranging horses and burros to live healthy lives, and water quality to be sustained. Healthy rangelands are essential to the Western way of life.
As you prepare to begin your service as our nation’s leader, the Coalition offers our assistance and support in improving wild horse and burro management. The included document outlines the urgency and severity of the problem, while providing the Coalition’s recommendations for achieving ecologically-sustainable wild horse and burro populations within a timeframe that will ensure healthy rangelands for future generations. Thank you for considering the input of our coalition. We look forward to working with you.
Keith Norris, Associate Wildlife Biologist®
Coalition Co-Chair, Dir. of Gov. Affairs & Partnerships
The Wildlife Society
Coalition Co-Chair, Government Affairs Associate
National Assoc. of Conservation Districts