Wild horses in Utah. Wild horses are protected under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which says in its preamble that they are “an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.” Ranchers and state officials who seek unfettered access to western rangelands, however, see them not as integral but rather an impediment. As a result, wild horse numbers are kept artificially low. The Bureau of Land Management is now considering risky ovariectomies of wild mares, despite the availability of effective, far less invasive immunocontraceptives. For more on the BLM’s ill-conceived plan, see page 6.
Photograph by LifeJourneys.