Wild horses and burros do not exist in a vacuum. Often we see the media address wild horse “issues” in a sensationalistic parade of personalities, not realities.
Our western ranges are experiencing a fourth year of drought. Current predictions assess the length of the cycle to extend for ten years.
In this fourth year of drought competition for resources has never been stronger. In Nevada, where more wild horses exist than in all our western states combined,the Division of Water Resources estimates 60 percent of the state’s water goes to irrigating crops, with 22 percent going to municipal water districts and the mining industry using about 13 percent of the state’s water. Livestock producers on public land are slow to limit grazing and are fighting every official restriction that arises in serious denial of all but their own interest.
Wild horses and burros are in serious trouble as the federal programs that manage them have relied on removal as the number one management tool for decades. In 2013 the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) reported the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has essentially failed in every aspect of managing wild horses and burros in any scientifically based protocol. (note: the BLM manages more wild horses than all other jurisdictions combined).
While many advocates fight to keep the “same old songs” of “leave them be” on the “top ten list,” the livestock industry remains in serious denial over range conditions and the mainstream media completely ignores the underlying issues, wild horses and burros will soon find themselves in serious trouble.
“If you were advocating for a sick child you would not just scream at the doctor that the disease does not exist,” said Laura Leigh, President of Wild Horse Education, “you learn everything you can and then address the disease from the best course of action possible. It is no different advocating for wild horses in the mess of public land management where everyone remains in denial.”
We have created this page to provide you with a fast reference guide to Herd Management Areas (HMAs) and where they stand as drought escalates. Almost every single area currently managed for wild horses and burros faces a drought situation.This map will be updated frequently by using the active US Drought Monitor.
Restricting the use of livestock production and mitigation with mining that disturbs critical water resource will be crucial to ensuring our wild horses, and our wildlife, survive.
Wild Horse Education is on the range documenting escalating areas of drought. To keep up to date follow our website or Facebook page. To keep us on the range you can contribute here: http://WildHorseEducation.org/donate