Below is a comment in regard to a story at the link here:
We live out surrounded by federal and state land, and also vacant privately owned land out here in the desert in an “open range” state and have been writing for 12-15 years that ANYONE and EVERYONE that utilizes OUR public land for hiking, biking, riding quads, hunting, fishing, camping, horseback riding, etc NEEDS to, ALL BAND TOGETHER and keep our federally protected free roaming wild horses and burros FREE ROAMING as mandated by the 1971 Protection Act.
If they are eradicated, the fences will go up faster than what we’re even seeing happening now, and then the public that is stuck paying for maintenance of our public land, and also the killing (called “sanitizing”) of thousands upon thousands of animals that are either predators to the cattle and sheep and/or compete for the forage and water, will literally continue to pay in order that private businesses, mostly corporations, can operate their businesses on OUR land, but we will get absolutely nothing in return because we won’t be able to utilize OUR public land.
Right now, the federally protected FREE ROAMING wild horses and burros are the only individuals standing between every person in the public sector that utilizes our unfenced public land (and it has to stay primarily unfenced OPEN RANGE while the wild horses and burros are out there because they MUST be allowed to ROAM FREE in their VAST Herd Management Areas (HMA’s) and cannot be inhibited from doing so, but by God, the factions that want to fence and control OUR public land will just not stop until they get what they want unless the majority who ARE the public tell them “stop it!”, and while we do understand ranching is generational in families for many, many decades and centuries, the corporations have even taken over and been sold the “mom and pop” ranches that have the very valuable grazing and water rights, so it would behoove the remaining “mom and pop” ranching businesses to JOIN with other people interested in having the federal public land remain unfenced because otherwise they will be pushed-out by corporate interests who do HAVE the money to do it), and the private businesses who will fence it off once the horses and burros are gone and won’t let ANYONE use it without either paying a “User Fee”, or if we go onto our fenced land anyway, we’ll probably be fined and/or arrested for trespassing on our own damn land we pay to maintain.
If people from various walks of life who currently utilize our public land, or even people who just love the wild horses and burros from afar and want them to remain free roaming, can’t figure out how to BAND TOGETHER and support our wild horses and burros remaining FREE ROAMING, the wild horses, the burros, and anyone who utilizes the land for recreation will be sh*t outta luck once those wild horses and burros who are preventing the fences from going up everywhere are eradicated, and no one should whine about it later because there are people like us, George Knapp, and others who have been trying to rally people for years on this issue to stop it.
And unless someone lives in an Open Range state with a lot of rural/remote federal land, its pretty much impossible to absorb how much ranching, mining, and development DOMINATE our states.
Another thing; in speaking with ranchers quite often out in the “wooly-wilds” of the Open Range desert, one thing we’ve noticed over the past 22+ years that never changes with them is their intent to get rid of the federally protected free roaming wild horses and burros. They know that once they are eradicated, it’s “game over” and the fences and control is all theirs.
They are also, to a man and/or woman rancher, all pro-commercial horse slaughter too, so we know precisely what will happen to the captive-wild horses, “the pure meat” so-to-speak if they get control of them……they will be slaughtered because they ship their own breeding stock horses, their used-up ranch horses, etc to slaughter all the time because for ranchers, horses ARE livestock, and they are food-chain animals, even the baby horses 6+ months old (sometimes they are younger when they are shipped if they “look” at least 6 months old, but are not) which are considered a delicacy in foreign horse meat eating countries and is called “filet of foal” or “veal” by people in the commercial horse slaughter business-industry.
However, when we have a state like California, that is very liberal and animal loving and passed a ban on any horse slaughter dealings back in 1998, that has kill buyers at every, single sale and donation-funded “horse rescues that aren’t” collecting donations to “outbid the kill buyers” instead of helping the AG’s office with enforcement of the LAW that has only been enforced 1 TIME in 16+ years, it really appears that this is always all about $$$, even for people who are supposed to be on opposing sides of the issue (and yes, donation-funded “retail-welfare-rescues” are in the BUSINESS of making money from “the threat” of bad things happening to animals, and in the case of horse rescues that attend sales in CA where they “outbid kill buyers”, they are not only witnessing crimes at all the sales, they are “enabling” them to be committed so they can collect thousands of $$$ in free donation money to “rescue” horses from the sale that should NOT be in jeopardy of going to slaughter from CA because it is ILLEGAL and the law needs to be ENFORCED, but that is not a money-maker for them, and would stop a main source of free money donations to them instead), and THAT is disgusting.
So if we can’t even get that law enforced in a liberal, horse/animal loving state like CA, how in the world does anyone think there is a prayer in hell that a law like that will pass in states that are DOMINATED by the livestock industry that is across-the-board pro-horse slaughter.
If we can’t band together soon, we will lose our public land we taxpayers will still have to pay for, and the wild horses and burros will lose their lives……tragic indeed but it still could be turned around if we act soon, and people from various backgrounds and interests who don’t normally interact organize, band together, and protect the free roaming wild horses and burros that are rightfully on the public land, and are legally mandated to be PRIMARILY managed on the UNFENCED public land in their HMA’s, many of which have been zeroed-out for them, but cattle graze there now, and mining operations run full bore where wild horses have roamed for decades and centuries.
Put our differences aside, and we can still win this one for the majority that is the American public who don’t benefit monetarily from our federal public land staying unfenced, but we benefit greatly in other non-material ways, and we will join together to have a “seat at the table” when decisions are made regarding OUR PUBLIC LAND and OUR wild horses and burros.