Board to meet in GJ about wild horses

A federal committee dealing with wild horses and burros will have a chance to examine efforts in Mesa County to control the population of wild horses later this month.

The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will meet Oct. 18-19 in Grand Junction to discuss issues that the Bureau of Land Management called “pressing challenges of wild horse and burro overpopulation on public lands.”

The Friends of the Mustang in Mesa County has long helped the Bureau of Land Management control the Little Bookcliffs herd by injecting mares with contraceptives using air rifles to deliver darts to the mares’ hindquarters.

Members of the board will tour the Little Bookcliffs area on Oct. 17 before discussing potential solutions to wild horses roaming public and private lands.

“The rapid growth rate and chronic overpopulation of the West’s wild horses are already affecting the health of the animals and the resources on which they and many other species depend,” acting BLM Director Michael Nedd said in a statement.

“To be effective in solving this challenge, we must work together to explore a wide variety of solutions to an unsustainable situation.”

The BLM estimates there are about 73,000 wild horses and burros in 10 Western states, a record number since the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was passed.

That is almost three times the number the habitat can sustainably support in conjunction with other land uses, the agency said.

The advisory board is to make recommendations for the management of wild horses and burros on Oct. 19 during its meeting at the Grand Vista Hotel, 2790 Crossroad Blvd.

A public comment period is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 18.


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