Memorial seeks to reduce wild horse herds


A Senate Joint Memorial wants the U.S. Department of Interior to better manage a growing wild horse population even if that means euthanasia and unrestricted sales to people who might haul the animals off to meat-packing plants in Mexico.

The memorial is sponsored by Sen. Pat Wood, a Republican from Broadview, New Mexico, who represents Curry, Quay and Union counties.

More than 50,000 wild horses now roam public lands, and too few people exist to adopt them all, according to a legislative analysis of the bill. 

The memorial asks the federal government to “follow the federal Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and utilize all of the management tools provided in that act, including unrestricted sales and euthanasia, to achieve ecologically sustainable wild horse and burro populations. Additionally, this memorial encourages Congress to restore funding to that department to facilitate those activities.”

The memorial will be heard first in the Senate Rules Committee, but with barely a week left in the legislative session, not much time is left for the bill to wend its way to a final vote from both houses. 

Carson National Forest has one band of wild horses on the El Rito Ranger District. 


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Gulcin Gilbert

Apparently Sen. Pat Wood doesn’t have enough work on his Senate plate if going after New Mexico’s small population of wild horses, is a priority. Wonder what he has to gain by their slaughter.

Friday, February 9 | Report this
Judy Barnes

The 50,000 number is so fabricated. BLM double and triple counts the wild horses. The number of wild horses still running on "public land" is less than 20,000. Wouldn't you think "public land" would include what the public wants? Contact Sen. Pat Wood's office and tell him to SAVE our wild horses. They are a piece of the American history and deserve to be protected. If BLM wouldn't kill the predators, mountain lions, etc for the cattle ranchers, the wild horses wouldn't be overpopulated. Charge the ranchers more than $1.48 per cow and calf pair to graze on "public land" to cover the cost to preserve our wild horses. PZP birth control is not great but would cut down on the population.

Friday, February 9 | Report this
Margo Oak

Just saying we have free roaming horses and not enough people to adopt them tell volumes of ignorance. For one the horses are free roaming at least in their horse territories and are not to be adopted but to stay wild. New Mexico few remaining horses are some of the most unique in Spanish blood for they were the first to mix with Cortez horses in the 1500's and have some spanish genes that have been gone for a longtime.

Do not let another ignorant man voice for the meat industry. New Mexico has already rounded up 80+% of their Native Desert Horses. I know encroachment of subdivisions who neglect the wild have grown close to some of the herds original territories. But the horses are there First and all should be educated to what our Most Native Mammal of North America really is and how beneficially cooperative they are with all other life in the wild.

They stay.

Friday, February 9 | Report this
Margo Oak

So Sad to know people have lost their connection to the Nature World to even consider this act of barbarism. Advocates have spoken loud and clear with tons of evidence that the very department that is charged with caretaking our horses has not done their jobs for the horses but for "other interests" that lobbied their way back onto horse territories. The Advocates demand transparency, honesty, ecologically sound management and especially to get wild horse and burro contracts out of the hands of those who only have feedlot mentalities.

These people who speak for euthanasia and sold without limitation are only those who are part of or believe the meat industry. The more people become aware of the Plight of the Wild Horse and that the Wild Horse is America's oldest and most sophisticated Native Animal that helped us become who we are today the faster they want to rid themselves of the job. Instead of backing away there only limited way of thinking is to just kill them.

This is a plea. Perspective: Only 1% of ALL Ranchers have permit allotments on Wild Horse Fed. Protected Herd Areas.

On the Federal land we gave them for protection livestock many times are permitted one horse per 150 AUMs

If there are 50,000 on the range (population counts are challenged) we have millions of deer, a million elk , Maine alone has 50,000 moose so 50,000 horses across the US is not that many. In just one HMA there are 50,000 sheep and only 240 horses. And the list goes on. So, Back to what Advocates want. We want the horses to stay in their ranges, we want better people to manage them, we want the politicians to stop being meat industry mouth pieces, and we want to allow paleontological, herd dynamic structure and our relational studies/stories to be heard. It is really much more interesting and amazing which is why it no longer needs to be hidden and all the sordid activity around them be stopped.

Friday, February 9 | Report this
Bo McGahee

2 comnents? REALLY? You're not controlling anything are you. Facebook IS watching and discussing this. BTW

Saturday, February 10 | Report this
Sheila Roberts

I live on the border between the Tres Piedras ranger district and the El Rito ranger district, in the beautiful west side of the Carson National Forest. I don’t want to debate what should be done with the wild horses, but I would like to say the there are probably more horses there than the FS would like to admit. The article states there is one band in the El Rito district. Pfft. There are at least three separate bands on the El Rito side and at least two bands on the Tres Piedras side. They are increasing in size on a regular basis. Two years ago we encountered a wild stud with three mares. It was a cold and snowy December. Two of the mares were heavily pregnant, not so great for December. The other weird thing was that these mares were friendly, one stuck her nose into our open car window! These were pets that were dumped and the stud found them and claimed them. The following spring we saw them again as part of a larger group. Neither had a colt alongside, meaning that the youngsters died in the snow at some point. The really friendly gal was now the lead mare and as wild as could be. Two other mares in the group had colts: one survived, the other was found dead alongside a dirt road. This same year, our mare gave birth to a filly because the previous year a wild stud had broken into our ranch. Fences don’t mean much to them. The FS has collected three other wild horses off of our property in various years.

I have to say, I get a thrill of delight every time I see these horses running free, but I worry too. These horses are mainly feral rather than wild and winters at 10,000 feet can be harsh, plus feed will be scarce next summer without the snowpack. I see these horses more often than most folks and I’d hate to see them starve. I also know that they can be problematic. The studs can be aggressive and territorial and will steal mares, injure geldings and kill colts. We owe it to ourselves to be open to the real numbers and to be open to a variety of solutions.

Saturday, February 10 | Report this