Debate continues today on the Continuing Resolution in the U.S. The bill would fund the government for the rest of the current fiscal year. Many amendments have been proposed and AFBF has taken a position on 22 of them.
Today an amendment was approved that would cut $2 million from the Bureau of Land Management’s budget in protest over the agency’s wild horse roundups. Indiana Republican Dan Burton says his amendment is intended to send a signal to BLM officials that most Americans want the mustangs treated more humanely on public lands. Virginia Democrat Jim Moran says Congress passed a law 40 years ago to protect the horses on the range, but that today there are more than 40,000 in holding pens and only 30,000 in the wild.
Wyoming Republican Cynthia Lummis was among those opposed. She says the well-meaning horse advocates are “loving the creatures to death” by fueling overpopulation of herds that damage the rangeland they depend upon.
“Sadly, members of Congress in Washington who represent congressional districts with no wild horses have taken money from BLM that is needed to manage wild horses and burros,” said Brent Boydston, Colorado Farm Bureau Vice President of Public Policy. “Congressman Moran represents suburban northern Virginia and has never had to face the realities of the ecological and economic damages caused by wild horses.”
Recently, BLM proposed to remove the West Douglas wild horse herd from range areas that can no longer sustain grazing. Wild horse advocates filed a lawsuit to block this. Colorado Farm Bureau tried to enter into this case as an intervener and support the efforts of BLM. Sadly, BLM bowed to pressure and withdrew from the case leaving the West Douglas horse herd to continue to create ecological havoc on fragile rangelands and cause economic harm to CFB members in the area.
“Congresswoman Lummis represents a state that has a wild horse problem,” continued Boydston. “Congressman Burton and Moran would do wise to listen to her counsel when it comes to the wild horse issue instead of factory fundraisers like HSUS when it comes to wild horse.”