The Nevada Farm Bureau has written Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV) to express opposition to her proposed legislation HR 6635. The measure was introduced on February 8, 2022 and if enacted into law would ban the use of helicopters or fixed wing aircraft for Wild Horse and Burro gathers.
“The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is working to accomplish the difficult and longoverdue process of bringing Wild Horse and Burro populations to their Appropriate Management Levels (AML),” Nevada Farm Bureau President Bevan Lister of Pioche wrote in his Feb. 14 letter to Titus. “Congressional actions like HR 6635 would seriously thwart the activities that are being carried out to achieve AML for Wild Horses and Burro populations as well as eventually bring impacted landscapes back to a status capable of providing habitat for wildlife and all multiple use stakeholders.”
A press release from the Farm Bureau noted that 22,000 Wild Horses and Burros from over-populated herds would be gathered and 19,000 of these animals would be removed from the federallymanaged lands, according to the 2022 Fiscal Year Plan that the BLM has announced. At least 2,300 animals would receive various fertility controls before releasing them back to the lands.
Throughout the Western states where Wild Horses and Burros live on designated federally-managed areas the population estimates from a year ago place the numbers at 71,735 Wild Horses and 14,454 Burros. The total of 89,189 animals is well over three-times the maximum AML level.
Nevada has the biggest overpopulation of the West-wide totals, the Farm Bureau stated. The Nevada estimates from last year indicated that there were 42,994 Wild Horses and 4,087 Burros. Maximum AML population for Nevada is 12,811. “In other words, Nevada not only has nearly 60 percent of the Wild Horses and Burros in the West, but also is over three and half times over the number of Wild Horses and Burros that are supposed to be in the state,” the release read.
Nevada Farm Bureau’s letter mentioned that not only is the use of helicopters for conducting gathers more humane than other methods, it is also the only cost-effective management measure available for gathering the necessary size of animals over very open and difficult terrain.