More wild horses will be left on the range as the government runs out of places to put them. Here in Utah, there are no plans to remove horses from public land this year.
It’s not unusual for Utah to go several years without removing wild horses from public rangeland, though it’s not uncommon to see mustangs from Nevada and other states brought here for adoption. Lisa Reid with the Bureau of Land Management says there are actually more mustangs in government holding facilities than there left on the range.
“With no new facilities on board right now to hold any more horses, our hands are tied," Reid tells KUER. "So we cannot remove any more and we’ll start seeing more and more effects.”
Reid says grazing restrictions are already being imposed on areas where drought and wild horses have reduced the available vegetation. BLM is hauling water this summer to help maintain one herd in Tooele County.
Last month, 30 members of Congress led by Arizona Democrat Raul Grijalva sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell asking her to make reform of the wild horse program a top priority. They called the agency’s current approach “unsustainable” and asked the BLM to focus on fertility control for wild horses rather than removing them from the range.