Urge Congress to Say NO to $12 Million Increasefor BLM Wild Horse Budget
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's March 3 testimony before the House Natural Resources Committee marks the beginning of the 2012 fiscal appropriations process on Captiol Hill. The Administration is again asking for $12 million budget increase for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Program, boosting the program's total budget to more than $75 million a year. Two-thirds of that budget (nearly $40 million) will be spent to roundup and remove wild horses from their homes in the West and to warehouse as many as 50,000 mustangs in off-the-range holding pens and pastures.
In FY 2010, BLM received a 30 percent budget increase, but instead of reforming the broken program, the agency used the increased funding to pursue the same failed and fiscally unsustainable management strategy. Last year alone, the BLM added more than 7,000 horses to those already in government holding facilities. Thanks to the Obama Administration's failed policies, for the first time in history, there are more wild horses in government holding facilities (>41,000) than living free on the range (<33,000).
Secretary Salazar, a fifth-generation rancher, has continued the BLM's policy of authorizing 5-15 times or more privately-owned livestock than wild horses to graze the small percentage of BLM lands designated as wild horse habitat. This unsustainable policy continues at great cost to taxpayers and to the mustangs themselves.
It's time for Congress to say no to business-as-usual at the BLM.
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