Contact: Aoibheann Cline, Western States Coordinator
On Thursday, September 10, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) provided testimony to the Nevada’s Legislative Committee on Public Lands during a special session. CSF supported the adoption of Healthy Nevada Lands’ Resolution, urging the Committee to encourage Nevada Lands’ Congressional Delegation to support the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) 2020 Report to Congress: An Analysis of Achieving a Sustainable Wild Horse and Burro Program.
Wild horse and burro management is critical to the conservation of Nevada’s public lands. Mis-management of wild horses and burro populations cause severe negative impacts to delicate ecosystems in the Silver State. It is imperative that the mis-management of wild horses and burros be addressed by reducing populations to appropriated levels. By doing so in a timely manner, fewer taxpayers’ dollars will be spent on unsustainable management practices and the health of Nevada lands and wildlife, including wild horses and burros, will be returned to a healthy equilibrium.
CSF supports accelerating the removal of excess horses and burros from Nevada Rangelands, immediately, to enable populations to reach the appropriate management levels within the feasible carrying capacity of the land, within the next six years (rather than the twenty years in the BLM’s proposal).
CSF further requested the Committee urge Congress to include sufficient long-term appropriation funding be specifically directed to Nevada, proportionate to address Nevada’s overwhelming population of 51,528 animals or 54% of the total free-roaming horse and burro populations living in the United States. Federal funding is critical to population management success. The Committee took the request under consideration and no further action was taken at the September 10th hearing on wild horses and burro management. CSF will continue to monitor and support legislative efforts to safely, effectively, and responsibly manage wild horse and burro populations.
CSF is also a participating member of the National Horse & Burro Rangeland Management Coalition (Coalition) advocating for commonsense, ecologically-sound approaches to managing wild horses and burros to promote healthy wildlife and rangelands for future generations across the West. The Coalition met with representatives of the United States Forest Service and BLM earlier in the week on September 8, to discuss policy updates on wild horse and burro management, including current appropriation funding and future Congressional appropriation requests to meet management objectives.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?