Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 22, 2014

Department of Interior Wild Horse Policy is Uncontained

In a highly critical article, Andrew Cohen of The Atlantic accuses Interior Secretary, Sally Jewell, of “willfully ignoring a report by the National Academy of Sciences” that calls into question the Bureau of Land Management’s costly and ineffective policy of rounding up thousands of wild horses from public lands and corralling them in “vast holding facilities at great cost to the American taxpayer (and to the great benefit of the ranching and livestock industries).”

When repeatedly questioned about her response to the NAS report, “she ignored the NAS’s pointed criticism of the BLM’s wild horse policies … she focused upon the assertion that wild horse populations can increase by 20 percent annually without acknowledging, as the NAS did, that the BLM’s faulty “management practices are facilitating high rates of population growth.” And when asked “to what extent the BLM would implement reforms based upon the NAS report …. the Secretary of the Interior simply ignored that part of the question.”

Cohen concludes: “It suggests that the Interior Department, under Secretary Jewell, is more concerned with papering over faulty BLM practices than it is with fixing those practices to bring them into line with accepted scientific methods.”

Retro Report looked at the history of the issue in a fascinating video:

  • Jesse4

    “management practices are facilitating high rates of population growth.”

    This is true. Keeping the numbers of the horses on the range down prevents them from destroying the range and starving as the result, which obviously keeps reproduction rates high. While range destruction is effective at keeping horse numbers at least somewhat under control, it causes problems for everything else. It’s rough on the horses too: chronic hunger is no fun.

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...