I was recently asked by several interested people about what my position will be concerning the wild horse issue facing Idaho, and I felt that the best way to respond to those inquiries would be here – officially.
From the information I have available to me right now I feel that stating the issue of overpopulation facing Wild Horses is one that is not just a problem for Idaho, but for many states ranging from New Mexico through Montana and extending West through Idaho. Anyone can discern that this is a very polarized subject, with supporters from both sides of the issue presenting very valid arguments.
I can say, without reserve, that we must do something proactive about the runaway population of Wild Horses in these states. There are simply too many of them for the land to sustain, and their population has begun to reach a level that is detrimental to the environment, to other game and livestock, and to their own well being. The population of Wild Horse has grown unchecked due to lopsided policies that favored passive management over proactive management, to the point that it (the wild horse population) has overwhelmed efforts to curb the growth.
How do we curb the trend and get our wild horse population under control, in a manner that preserves the magnificence of wild horses, while protecting our environment, wildlife and livestock? The Bureau of Land Management had a plan to sterilize a large herd of wild horses in Idaho, which was recently halted pending further explanation from the BLM on technique and reason, which has merit in my eyes. We do no favors to the wild horses by allowing them to breed themselves into starvation and death.
Others have suggested unrestricted sales of wild horses to neighboring countries Mexico and Canada – which opponents lament as inhumane due to many of these horses being taken to slaughterhouses; a notion that does not sit well with many Americans.
At the end of the day horses are magnificent creatures that are both beautiful and useful. As stewards of the land, we are responsible for its management and that sometimes means making hard decisions. My position, based on the facts I have now, is to support the BLM and tribes like the Navajo in New Mexico, in their decision to sterilize herds of wild horses in an effort to save the whole. Much like I support predator control initiatives because they are directly responsible for a healthier stronger ecosystem, controlling the population of wild horses through sterilization will promote a higher quality of life for the horses and will be better for the environment, as well as other wildlife.