Adoption is a Way Forward for Wild Horses

The story of the wild American mustang is one of grit and hardship. Revered as a majestic icon of the West, behind the image is a cruel reality of competition, starvation, and degradation.

The Bureau of Land Management is tasked with managing a population of wild horses and burros that is growing exponentially. In a new report to Congress, the BLM concluded that its adoption incentive program—which pays people to adopt wild horses and burros—is a key part of achieving a sustainable program for the animals. Continuing incentive payments recently instituted under the program will promote adoptions in a way that benefits rangeland ecosystems and taxpayers.

With federal protections and no natural predators, the number of free-roaming animals has skyrocketed. The BLM sets an appropriate management level for wild horses based on the amount of rangeland available, a figure that currently stands at just under 2,000 animals in Utah. But the current population in the state is about three times that designated carrying capacity.

Read the full article here

Related Content