SJR3 – Calls for the reduction of wild horses and burros in the Grand Bassin

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SJR3 – Calls for the reduction of wild horses and burros in the Grand Bassin

Joint resolution n ° 3 of the Senate (SJR3) was originally introduced on February 25, 2021 “urges Congress to provide funding to reduce wild horse and burro populations to appropriate management levels (AMLs).”

Read full details of SJR3 here

SJR3 reduces wild horse and burro populations

Screenshot of SJR3.

With a current population of over 47,000 animals in Nevada, including 12,000 above the AML, immediate action is required to protect critical habitat for native species and to preserve this iconic non-native of the West.

Wild horse and burro populations across the West

state Horses Burros Total
Arizona 534 6 915 7,449
California 7 332 4 727 12,059
Colorado 1,891 0 1,891
Idaho 710 0 710
Montana 162 0 162
Nevada 43,281 4 187 47,468
New Mexico 241 0 241
Oregon 4,847 30 4 877
Utah 5,058 339 5,397
Wyoming 7 836 0 7 836
Total 71,892 16,198 88,090

In October 2020, the Congress Research Service reported that “BLM set the upper limit of the AML for all herds of wild horses and burro on its land at 26,770. As of March 2020, the number of animals on BLM land greatly exceeded this figure – 95,114 , more than three times the AML. BLM manages wild horses and burros in 177 Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in 10 western states. Almost half of all HMAs and more than half of the animals are found in Nevada. ”

The BLM, under the Wild Horses and Burros Act, 1971, is given the power to regulate and manage these populations in order to maintain healthy and consistent AML. That being said, the Congressional Research Service states that “since 1982 the agencies have not used this authority to destroy healthy animals. More recently, the appropriations law for the financial year 2020 (PL 116-94, division D, §419) prohibited the use of funds for the destruction of healthy animals and for the sales of animals which result in processing. into commercial products. Most credit laws since FY1988 have contained a similar ban on BLM funding. “

Supporters of SRJ3 such as the Nevada Chapter of the Wildlife Society sent a letter to their members stating that “We desperately need long-term solutions to maintain healthy horse and burrow populations and conserve critical habitats for fish and wildlife…. Scientists and wildlife professionals are united in their call to change current management practices. They support the use of the best available science and adaptive management and advocate for increased funding from federal agencies to help reduce horse and burrow populations.

the Nevada Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers had this to say when asked about their position on the issue “SJR3 is a loudspeaker announcement to Congress that we here in Nevada need something done about the massive overpopulation of wild horses and burros.” We are on the cusp of an ecological catastrophe … We need to reduce the H&B populations to AML as soon as possible, then we can talk about long term population control. They go on to say, “SJR3 represents an honest assessment by a broad coalition of conservationists seeking to prevent the massive death and suffering of horses, burros, as well as native species … whatever is needed to to solve this problem exists in the Horse & Loi Burro of 1971, we just need the political will to implement it. “

GoHUNT equipment store

There have been several attempts in the nearly 50 years since the passage of the Wild Horse and Burro Act to appropriately manage populations, but these efforts have been thwarted by organizations that would allow wild horse numbers to grow. increase to the point of starving, terminal dehydration and extreme overcrowding.

These organizations rely on emotion-based reasoning and public polls. Groups such as the American Wild Horse Campaign are said to ask wildlife managers and policymakers to base their decisions on popularity contests. “Polls show that 86% of Nevadans agree that wild horses set symbols for our state and want them to be protected and cared for with humanity. They go on to claim that by eliminating predator hunting, wild horse populations will stabilize. They also argue that we should reduce the amount of land that cattle are allowed to graze so that wild horses can reach an even larger population. by freeing up fodder for larger and more sustainable populations. »See their statement here.

The point is, wild horses aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, but they can’t be allowed to continue as an ever more populous species. There is no other animal its size with its roaming / grazing abilities that wreaks havoc on landscapes like it does while still being allowed to go unchecked. Wild pigs across the United States destroy millions of dollars in crops every year, but wildlife management agencies are at least trying to manage pigs and recognize them as a species that needs quick management. We can’t go wrong thinking that we live in a time when wildlife will balance out, humanity has had too much of an impact on wild places and wildlife for there to be any chance of self-stabilization. . To do nothing is to allow the horses to continue to die in an extremely inhuman manner. If you would like to see some of these impacts for yourself, please see Horse rich and poor in dirt.

I urge each of you to take the time to present your opinion in a thoughtful and cordial manner to the Nevada State Legislature through their online form, or written comments can be submitted by email to [email protected] The next SJR3 working session will take place on Thursday April 1 at 3:30 p.m. We have the opportunity to have a huge impact on the future of the Great Basin where we can allow the continued status quo of destroyed riparian areas, overpopulation and neglect of our wildlife and wild spaces.

Submit your comments for SJR3 here

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