High Country News
Published in

High Country News

Wildish Podcast: Wild horses in a not-so-wild West

Episode One: Is federal mustang management reaching a breaking point?

In 1971, Congress created one of the most intractable resource management conundrums when it passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The law, which called for protecting wild horses and burros as living symbols of American history, sparked a population boom in the West. Indeed, according to the Bureau of Land Management, there is an overpopulation crisis. The 10 Western states have enough public land to support 27,000 wild horses and burros, but today, the population is approaching 100,000. The wild horses and burros that are gathered via helicopter and put into holding facilities devour more than half of the annual budget of the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program. And the costs go up every year, even as the population increases. The many stakeholders have very different visions for how the species ought to be managed, but the end result is that wild horses are not very wild anymore. If wildlife managers, landowners, wild horse advocates and the BLM cannot work together to come to a solution, the Wild Horse and Burro Program will reach a breaking point. In this first episode of Wildish, host Anna Coburn introduces some of the people on the frontlines.

Listen here: https://www.hcn.org/articles/south-wildish-podcast-wild-horses-in-a-not-so-wild-west

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
High Country News

Working to inform and inspire people — through in-depth journalism — to act on behalf of the West’s diverse natural and human communities.