30 US reps want to reign in BLM's horse budget - New York News

30 US reps want to reign in BLM's horse budget

Updated:

By SCOTT SONNER

Associated Press

RENO, Nev. (AP) - Thirty U.S. representatives urged new U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Thursday to make a priority out of reforming the government's wild horse management program and its spiraling budget that they say has created an "untenable situation" for both the mustangs and taxpayers.

Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources subcommittee on public lands and environmental regulation, wrote the letter appealing to Jewell "as a conservationist and outdoor enthusiast" to help bring "long overdue" changes at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management charged with protecting the horses.

"Given the importance of wild horses to the American people and considering the ever-tightening budget situation, we believe that this is a problem that demands your urgent attention," he wrote.

Florida Rep. C.W. Bill Young, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, was the lone Republican to sign the letter.

The majority of the co-signers were from states in the East and South, but several joined from states that are home to some of the estimated 37,000 free-roaming wild horses and burros on federal land in the West, including Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., five representatives from California and three from Oregon.

Grijalva said they're asking for renewed attention to the program after an independent scientific review of horse roundups. The review, which was released last month, recommended that the government invest in widespread fertility control of the mustangs and let nature cull any excess herds instead of spending millions to house them in overflowing holding pens.

The 14-member panel assembled by the National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council and Management concluded BLM's removal of nearly 100,000 horses from the Western range over the past decade is probably having the opposite effect of its intention to ease ecological damage and reduce overpopulated herds.

By stepping in prematurely when food and water supplies remain adequate, BLM is producing artificial conditions that ultimately serve to perpetuate population growth, the committee stated.

Jewell, former CEO of outdoor retailer Recreation Equipment Inc., succeeded former Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar in April as secretary of the department overseeing more than 500 million acres of national parks and other public lands.

Interior Department spokeswoman Jessica Kershaw said Thursday that Jewell is "committed to protecting and managing these iconic animals for current and future generations."

"The BLM is reviewing the NAS study in detail with a view to make investments in science-based management approaches, explore additional opportunities for population control and increase transparency for a more cost-effective program," Kershaw said in response to the congressional letter.

Grijalva (gree-HAHL'-vuh) said BLM's wild horse budget has doubled since 2009 as the agency "escalated its unsustainable roundup-remove-and-stockpile approach to wild horse management." Last year, BLM spent 60 percent of its wild horse budget on holding facilities alone, more than $40 million.

"In fact, the U.S. government today maintains more wild horses in captivity than remain in the wild," Grijalva said. "This is an untenable situation, both for America's wild horses and for American taxpayers."

Suzanne Roy, director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, said more than 30,000 people signed a companion letter to Jewell on Thursday, including celebrities Robert Redford, Carole King, Valerie Bertinelli, Ali MacGraw, Ricky Schroeder, Ed Harris, Noah Wylie and Betty White.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Didn't find what
you were looking for?

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Report: health risks at some nail salons

    Report: health risks at some nail salons

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:28 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:28:27 GMT
    One of the most surprising findings in a report from the New York City public advocate is that city officials have virtually no authority over how nail salons are run. The city can't enforce standards like they do with restaurants, so it's clearly a case of beauty buyer beware. We get our nails done without thinking too much about it.
    One of the most surprising findings in a report from the New York City public advocate is that city officials have virtually no authority over how nail salons are run. The city can't enforce standards like they do with restaurants, so it's clearly a case of beauty buyer beware. We get our nails done without thinking too much about it.
  • Car strikes toddler; driver arrested

    Car strikes toddler; driver arrested

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:15 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:15:49 GMT
    Police on Long Island say a 30-year-old driver has been arrested in connection with an accident that injured a 3-year-old girl being pushed in a stroller. Police say Scott Shea of Middle Island was driving a Jeep northbound on William Floyd Parkway, just south of Montauk Highway, when he struck the toddler at about 3:45 p.m. Monday.
    Police on Long Island say a 30-year-old driver has been arrested in connection with an accident that injured a 3-year-old girl being pushed in a stroller. Police say Scott Shea of Middle Island was driving a Jeep northbound on William Floyd Parkway, just south of Montauk Highway, when he struck the toddler at about 3:45 p.m. Monday.
  • Lawsuit settlements reached in Metro-North crash

    Lawsuit settlements reached in Metro-North crash

    Monday, September 15 2014 8:39 PM EDT2014-09-16 00:39:39 GMT
    Four of 28 people who sued the Metro-North Railroad in federal court after being injured in a Bridgeport train crash last year have settled with the commuter railroad.
    Four of 28 people who sued the Metro-North Railroad in federal court after being injured in a train crash in Connecticut last year have settled with the commuter railroad.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices