During the week of August 22, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) staff participated in the Wild Horse and Burro Management Policy Summit hosted by Utah State University in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The goal of the Summit was to provide participants with the best available information regarding the science, management, and policies used to make informed decisions to manage healthy populations of horses and burros on rangelands via implementation of the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act. CSF joined approximately 20 other organizations in planning and executing the Summit.
The Summit gathered over 130 organizations representing a variety of stakeholders, including academia; agriculture; conservation; federal, state and local government; and sportsmen’s groups. Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Governor Gary Herbert was also in attendance.
Presenters covered a broad range of topics, including a historical overview of wild horses and burros, state and federal management concerns, discussions on current lethal and non-lethal management options, and the negative impact of horses and burros on western rangelands.
Excess horses and burros have a significant, negative impact on western rangelands and the wildlife and communities that depend upon them. Horse and burro populations on public lands and facilities have grown from 25,000 in 1971 to over 118,000 in 2017, greatly exceeding appropriate management levels. The majority of feral horses and burros – about 72,000 – range freely on public land, while 46,000 are maintained in government-run corrals and pastures, costing taxpayers close to $80 million per year.
To watch recordings of informational sessions and to learn more about the Summit, please visit nationalhorseandburrosummit.org.
For more information on wild horse and burro impacts, please visit the National Horse and Burro Rangeland Management Coalition’s website at wildhorserange.org/.
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