Veteran reporter, Vickery Eckhoff did the math!
If you can add numbers or count cattle it is clear that our free roaming wild horses and burros are not to blame for overgrazing our federal lands in the West. America’s wild horses fate continues to be a casualty of range wars over the distribution and control of our natural resources.
Her article posted in The Daily Pitchfork, along with a side by side analysis of 2014 grazing data reveals that the disparity between what is allocated to wild horses versus livestock, is bigger that we thought…
Photo by: Bryce Gray
Livestock Data Fills Gap in Ongoing Wild Horse Debate
First Posted on November 11, 2015 by Vickery Eckhoff in The Daily Pitchfork
The data includes 2014 year-end grazing receipts of $17.1 million published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the US Forest Service (USFS), a figure that equates to a livestock total of 2.1 million cattle. This is 37 times greater than the 56,656 free-roaming wild horses and burros estimated by both agencies in 2014.
Other BLM and USFS reported data show private livestock allocated 97 percent of the forage across all 251 million acres of BLM and USFS-managed lands. Wild horse and burros inhabit 12 percent of that land and are allocated 3 percent of forage overall.
A key finding of the analysis is the abundance of studies on overgrazing and climate change due to livestock production, and the lack of comparable studies on wild horse impacts.
The fully footnoted analysis by The Daily Pitchfork can be downloaded here.