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  • Staci-lee Sherwood

Taxpayers can save $150 Million - defund Bureau of Land Mangmnt insanely wasteful Wild Horse program


By Staci-lee Sherwood



Imagine if the government took the unprecedented step of not wasting tax dollars? The Bureau of Land Management has been wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on programs proven to not work. Yet decades go by with continued increases in annual budgets. Their Wild Horse and Burro program isn’t just cruel to the animals it’s cruel to taxpayer’s who know their hard earned money could be better spent. Think of upgrading infrastructure, funding public schools, protecting our borders.



If a CEO behaved with the same fiscal recklessness as the BLM, they would be removed by the board for dereliction of duty. Why should government employees, regardless of title, get a free pass? Thousands of wild horses have been rounded up for decades. Most languish in holding facilities while a small percentage get adopted. It’s long been rumored the majority actually end up going to slaughter in foreign countries. The wranglers hired to round up the horses and burros have made millions off the taxpayer.



In recent years catastrophic wildfires have become an annual event with talk of year round wildfire season becoming the norm. The loss of human life, wildlife and destruction of land and property is now in the billions. The west has seen a steady increase in this natural disaster. Along with the growing number of fires is the growing increase in their size, strength and length of time they last. Add the massive increase in property damage and the domino effect it costs our economy, and the current policy of putting out fires after they start is not sustainable. If there was a way to prevent or even decrease this yearly nightmare wouldn’t it be prudent to explore that?



Losing our native horses is bad enough but losing a natural resource that helps prevent wildfires is another. For all the supposed wisdom of the US Forest Service they have chosen to fill our public lands with non native livestock while exterminating our native wildlife that keeps the forest healthy. This has been a major cause for the increase in wildfires we see today. As we continue to kill off our horses, burros, deer, elk the annual number of wildfires has nowhere to go but up.



There is a way to save our wild horses and help prevent these fires but it will take backbone from politicians and government. It is a very simple plan. Stop the costly roundups and subsequent holding of wild horses and burros in facilities and replace a broken policy with a sustainable one. By placing the native equine in wilderness areas they will help restore the ecosystem as they have done for millions of years.



These areas are off limits to ranchers and mining companies so there is no competing for public land. There are still apex predators in these areas so the equine population will be controlled naturally and free of charge. In return the wild equine will help prevent wildfires as they have always done. A California based non-profit called The Wild Horse Fire Brigade has studied the feasibility and it can be done. Click here to learn more https://www.wildhorsefirebrigade.org/



The non-profits opposing this plan (American Wild Horse Campaign, Return to freedom, Wild Horse Education, Animal Wellness Actions and many more) are the same ones who stand to lose $20 million in government grants, included in the Dept of Interior FY 2023 Appropriations bill. Why should your tax dollars go to already wealthy groups whose only idea is to help themselves with a scheme of using a pesticide as birth control? Most of the wild horse advocacy groups only preach using PZP because the patent is owned by HSUS, whose tax returns show a hefty ¼ billion in assets. They now promote people signing up for government jobs to shoot horses with this toxic substance. They have shown themselves to be as corrupted as any government agency.



Another group promotes veterans shooting wild horses with PZP as a way to help them recover from PTSD. None of those in charge have first hand knowledge or any training in this. They are merely cashing in knowing that Congress doesn’t want to look like they don’t help out veterans (which they usually vote against if you actually look at the votes of bills). One of the drivers of this group Veterans for Mustangs already has three so called ‘non-profits’ and a questionable past. The founder is a Hollywood director of small films.



Nature doesn’t need a budget only the people whose jobs depend on it do. We don’t need to waste millions when nature can do the job for free. Taxpayers should not have to be forced to donate to non-profits via taxes, that should be a choice not a mandate. The more one reads about these groups and PZP the more it looks like a giant plan to defraud the American people under the ruse of saving wild horses. Donating to groups looking to cash in is like throwing money away on broken or fraudulent policies when that money should be spent on projects that actually do good. These schemes will never save wild horses since they destroy their unique genetics and health while removing most of them off their wild land.




According to the National Interagency Fire Center Federal wildfire suppression costs in the United States spiked from $425 million from 1985 to 1999 to $1.6 billion from 2000 to 2019,’ There is a way to cut that cost to taxpayers so why wouldn’t we do it? The US cannot sustain these costs and will have to get the money elsewhere to keep paying for all this or raise taxes. To read the full article click here https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Publications-and-media/NFPA-Journal/2020/November-December-2020/Features/Wildfire



Just to get an idea of cost to the economy and number of fires we have click here https://www.nifc.gov/fire-information/statistics/suppression-costs



The Bureau of Land Management is the poster child for government waste. It’s time we reign in and defund broken policies in favor of those that are sustainable and common sense. Imagine how much stronger the country would be if we did.



Also published in Pagosa Daily Post on August 8, https://pagosadailypost.com/2022/08/08/opinion-fiscal-incompetence-at-blm/

-This was sent as an Opinion to The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The LA Times, Huff Post, Forbes, The Guardian US and The Washington Post but none wanted to publish something that challenged Big Ag, ranchers. Government or inform the taxpayer on their own -



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