A professor of rangeland ecology at the University of Nevada-Reno maintains that wild horses and burros are damaging wildlife habitat in the West.
“We have a lot of animals that are out there in excess of what has been determined as being an appropriate management level that is the crux of the matter,” Barry Perryman told Nevada Public Radio.
Federal law dictates a population of 27,000 wild horses and burros on public lands yet there are an estimated 82,000 on the landscape as of March 1, 2017.
According to the National Horse & Burro Rangeland Management Coalition, the taxpayers are paying more and more to deal with the issue. Horses and burros removed from rangelands and placed in holding facilities cost taxpayers about $50 million annually. For a horse that remains in one of these facilities for its entire life, the cost can reach $50,000 per animal.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is a member of the National Horse & Burro Rangeland Management Coalition and supports the management of the wild horse and burro population.
(Photo source: National Horse & Burro Rangeland Management Coalition)