The U.S. wild horse population would be reduced 69 percent over the next six to 12 years under four options being considered by federal land managers.
The alternatives were laid out in a report to Congress prepared by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which claims the number of wild horses and burros already surpasses what public lands in 10 Western states can sustain.
“If wild horse and burro populations continue to expand, the impacts to animal and plant species will grow more severe across even larger swaths of the Western public rangelands,” according to BLM’s report.
Ranchers in the West have often blamed wild horses for trampling streams and consuming grasses, resulting in livestock grazing curtailments by federal officials to restore rangeland health.
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