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Stand up for wild horses

To the editor:

I am writing you today because America is about to lose its last surviving icons — the wild mustangs and burros — for which America is famous. The Bureau of Land Management, which is appointed to protect our wild horses, it not doing that at all. Administrators allow corporate ranchers to graze their cattle and sheep, at taxpayers expense, on the public land meant for wild horses and burros. Worries about climate change? It’s the cattle and sheep that are decimating the land, not the wild horses.

As we speak, the bureau is thinning the wild horse herd at Sand Wash Basin in Colorado, removing 80 percent of the herd. The bureau employs helicopter companies at $300,000 a day, again taxpayers money, to run the wild horses (stallions, mares and foals) for miles into a small holding pen. As soon as the wild horses are off the range, a truck brings a load of cattle or sheep to replace the horses. In these helicopter roundups, many horses break their legs, their backs or their necks. Foals, some only 1-month old, are separated from their mothers because they cannot keep up. Some foals even die. All this is so cruel and inhumane. The wild horses lose their home, their family and their freedom. Our public lands are meant for these horses. They should not be removed from them. The roundups continue in spite of letters sent to Deb Haaland, secretary of the interior, and Nada Culver, director of policy and programs at the bureau.

Letters have been sent by the Colorado Chapter of the Sierra Club; Erik Molvar of the Western Watershed Project; U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Boulder, Colo.; and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis.

It is my hope, that with more Americans knowing this, public outcry will allow the horses to be managed on the range. If we lose wild horses in the wild, what have we become?

Pamela Elliott

Toronto

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