SOLUTIONS

The focus of our Foundation is to find common ground issues where most reasonable people can hang their hat and say, “Yes, we can get this done!”

To be honest, given the varied and fervent opinions of the many stakeholders who want a voice in wild horse and burro management, we sometimes lose hope that these groups can find a lot of common ground when it comes to determining the management objectives for America’s wild horses and burros. And while we are glad that there are groups fighting for these things, it’s often easy to get discouraged and lose sight of those things upon which we can agree.

However, the focus of our Foundation is to find common ground issues where most reasonable people can hang their hat and say, “Yes, we can get this done!”

After years of working on these issues, meeting with many people, talking with BLM employees, and attending wild horse and burro meetings, we feel that there are a few common solutions upon which most will agree. And these solutions are the focus of our Foundation. They are where we spend our time and money.

At first read, the solutions seems rather simple. But as you dig into each, and think through the implicit complications each entails, you will see that we haven’t chosen an easy row to hoe.

As things now stand, there isn’t a lot of hope for the horses and burros who have been removed from their former homes. They won’t be going back to their native range and due to the shortcomings of adoption programs it’s fairly likely that they will stay in the BLM-funded pens where they now reside. 

Our mission is to obtain land where we can create sanctuaries where they can run free again.   We’d like to give homes to all 50,000 horses who are now in captivity, but providing new range for 10,000 would be a huge win.

It’s a monumental project. We’ve looked at a number of ranches, some in the 500,000 to 1,000,000 acre range. They are expensive and often full of complicating factors.   But we know that the right land is out there and we will find it.

In addition to providing good homes for horses and burros, we believe that our sanctuaries should benefit many species of animals and plants.

The Fremont Island Project is a great example of how we plan to pull together experts in many different fields to create an exemplary sanctuary that benefits horses, wildlife, and birds. It will also be a place to practice rangeland restoration, which is very important in the west.

We’d love to hear from you if you know about a ranch that is available that would potentially make a great wild horse sanctuary.

Issue #1:

There are too many horses and burros who have been removed from the range being housed in short and long-term facilities.

Solution:

Create sanctuaries where formerly wild horses and burros will have good, free-range homes.

 

Issue #2:

On-range management needs to be improved.

Solution:

Advance the use of contraceptive techniques on the range to control herd size, and consequently minimize the number of animals that are removed from the range.

 

As is often the case in life, there are no perfect solutions to complicated problems. However, we believe that contraception is the best solution to controlling herd size.

We will be the first to acknowledge that contraception is not perfect a perfect solution, and there are those who will make the argument that its use can disrupt the natural family size/dynamics of a herd, and that it can put more stress on the stallions during breeding season.   But if one weighs the negative impacts of continued round-ups, we feel that contraception is a vast improvement over traditional management methods.

Have we met people who are against using contraception? Sure. There was the helicopter contractor whose livelihood depends on a continual supply of horses. We’ve run into the occasional rancher who wants all of the wild horses gone (though most have expressed that they like seeing them on the range).   And, there’s the occasional animal advocate who doesn’t want reproduction to be constrained, or fears that the BLM is trying to zero-out (eliminate) the herds. But on the whole, these are exceptions.

We are in the process of putting together our vision for the best way to implement a contraceptive program.   Please check back for additional information.