New Interior secretary waiting for study on wild horses

Posted: May 9, 2013

Written by

Allison Sherry, Denver Post
Wild horses

New Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Tuesday that she is still undecided about how to handle a burgeoning wild horse and burro population that is eating more than half the horse budget at the BLM and sparking outrage among wild horse advocates.

Jewell said in an interview with The Denver Post that she is awaiting a National Academy of Sciences study, slated to come out in early June, to determine how best to handle the horses. "It's going to help identify what's the sustained capacity of our public lands to handle our wild horses, what is the effectiveness of things like birth control methodology to try and deal with the issue," Jewell said Tuesday. "So we appreciate their help and we look forward to that response."

There are more wild horses and burros roaming federally managed rangelands today than there were in 1971, when Congress passed the landmark Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act that protects these iconic animals. There are 11,000 more than the range is supposed to currently sustain and another 51,000 holding in pricey short- and long-term corrals and pastures.

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