Wildlife advocates oppose euthanizing wild horses and burros

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  • stewartlands reno, NV
    June 25, 2019 10:21 a.m.

    The benefits of horses do not exist. Horses destroy soil rather than build it and eroded landscapes do not effectively retain water. You may confirm this by observing any dusty horse corral or trail in your own neighborhood. They may spread seeds, but native species have never required their assistance in this regard. Instead, horses have enabled non-natives such as cheat grass and thistle to spread like wildfire across the western landscape--and wildfire has only become a problem as a result of these non-native fuels. Advocates have even suggested that horses help other species by breaking ice in the winter to expose the water below, but this ignores the obvious fact that wildlife nibble snow to survive and, ironically, managed very well in this environment up until the introduction of horses and cattle. In fact, the period of water stress occurs during the summer, during which time horses consume huge quantities and drive other species (even as large as elk) away from the water holes they also require. Considering last summer's drought-killed horses, one has to wonder how many others animals died as a result of being displaced, by horses, from the water they required.

  • Stewart Lands Round Mountain, NV
    June 24, 2019 12:23 p.m.

    Horses are invasive to this ecosystem and the damage that they cause is undeniable. Those who claim "native" status for horses could apply the same logic in arguing for the reintroduction of T-rex, ignoring the fact that our ecosystem has changed dramatically since these species became extinct from the continent. Gone are their effective predators--including wolves and lions much larger than their modern-day counterparts. Ironically, the sole remaining native predator on the horse is man, yet advocates would deny him his natural role within the system...

    Horse advocates suggest that we must choose between horses and cattle. In fact, both are highly destructive and impose billions of dollars in management cost upon American taxpayers. Why, then, should we support more of either? In response to these concerns, the number of cattle allowed on public rangelands has been in decline for decades and now it is time to manage horses as well. The suggestion that horses should be protected on the grounds that they are better than cattle is like saying a kick to the shin is better than a blow to the head. Why should I invite either?

  • whecologist1 Minden, NV
    June 20, 2019 5:33 p.m.

    The above comments are so untrue! The horse is a deeply native to North America and contributes in may positive ways, when not set up for failure. There is a lot of shameless disinformation being put out by selfish and narrow minded interests who lack a real appreciation for the place of the naturally living horse in America. This must change. These wonderful presences do a world of good and must be honored. Living in the natural world they build soils, increase water retention. seed many plants including natives, reduce catastrophic fires, balance out ecosystems where ruminant grazers are foisted in unnatural numbers and degrade ecosystems. The WFHBA said they were to be treated as the principal presences in their legal areas and allowed to become integral parts of the public lands ecosystem, allowed to become part of a thriving natural ecological balance, but petty minded ignoble people have targeted them, because they were being asked to honor something good for a change!

  • Freiheit Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2019 6:29 a.m.

    Wild horses are hardly an endangered species. The Great Basin is a desert environment with limited capacities of both forage and water. Surely we can come up with a reasonable balance between horse numbers and other demands on the resources. Nobody wants to see a massive die-off due to overpopulation.

  • Let's Agree to Disagree Mapleton, UT
    June 10, 2019 10:16 p.m.

    Horses are beautiful and majestic creatures...but in the American West they are a non-native, invasive species.