Target: Mike Pool, Director of the Bureau of Land Management
Goal: Protect wild horses in times of drought by limiting livestock grazing in their habitats
The Bureau of Land Management will soon pass a landmark decision in the protection of wild horses during times of drought. Congress has already passed laws providing for the protection of wild horses, yet domestic livestock takes up land space used by these beautiful creatures. This may be because rules concerning livestock grazing are decided by the Secretary of the Interior rather than members of congress.
Livestock must be prevented from overgrazing in wild horse habitats, since overgrazing contributes to arid conditions that kill horses. In addition, wild horses should not be forcibly removed from their natural habitats to make way for more and more livestock. Unchecked livestock grazing decreases the amount of forage available for wild horses in the same areas. Activists argue that not even one horse should be removed from an area in drought until all domesticated livestock are removed from the same area, and grazing is prohibited for at least two years.
Activists also oppose the castration and spaying of wild stallions and mares, a method sometimes used to prevent the procreation of wild horses in times of drought. They insist that the skewing of sexual ratios, balanced naturally within wild horse communities, damages the overall livelihood of these animals. Activists also argue that although livestock is profitable to certain communities and ranchers, the environmental impact of overgrazing by livestock is much more costly in the long run than any short-term gain made by excessive numbers of animals. Ask leaders to protect wild horses during times of drought by ensuring their reproductive rights and limiting livestock grazing.
Dear Mr. Pool,
In your upcoming Environmental Assessment of drought-prone areas, you will decide how to handle wild horses who share space with domestic livestock. I encourage you to let wild horses remain in their habitats, choosing instead to remove livestock and limit grazing for a period of two years in areas where drought threatens the terrain. Livestock grazing contributes directly to aridity in areas where wild horses roam. Overgrazing by livestock prevents these horses from having enough forage to survive. Some ranchers insist that horses should be removed instead, or that they should be castrated to prevent species proliferation. However, wild horses are much less detrimental to the land than livestock, which is allowed to proliferate unchecked.
Ranchers may profit from increased livestock numbers, but the land is left badly damaged, a consequence that is extremely costly in the long run. I ask you to limit livestock grazing during times of drought and allow wild horses to remain in their natural habitats unharmed. I also ask you not to spay or castrate wild horses to prevent them from breeding during droughts.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Jason Janelle via flickr