TWS leads congressional briefing regarding BLM horses and burros

By Jennifer Becar

©John Graffio

The National Horse and Burro Rangeland Management Coalition, chaired by The Wildlife Society, hosted a congressional briefing on July 6 to discuss wild horse and burro management with staffers and other interest groups. The Wildlife Society Government Affairs staff delivered presentations and facilitated discussion among the attendees alongside other Coalition members. TWS and other Coalition members suggested ways Congress might help make wild horse and burro management more effective, highlighting the lack of science-based policy affecting the program.

The briefing touched on several topics regarding the detrimental effects horse and burro overpopulation has on rangeland ecosystems, native wildlife, and the health of the horses and burros themselves. The discussion also focused on seeking solutions for overpopulation and implementing effective management strategies. TWS and Coalition representatives stressed the need for science-based policy decisions regarding this issue. Such decisions would allow federal agencies to better meet the management objectives set in place for wild horses and burros. On-range populations currently exceed ecologically-sustainable management objectives by 150 percent.

“With Congress’ help, we can improve the effectiveness of wild horse and burro management. Improved, science-based management will protect the quality of our rangeland ecosystems and enable wildlife professionals to sustain native wildlife populations and their habitats,” said Keith Norris, AWB©, Coalition Chair and Director of TWS’ Government Affairs & Partnerships.

Nearly 70 individuals from a variety of offices and organizations were in attendance at the briefing.

This briefing was held following an oversight hearing hosted by the House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands in late June, where TWS and the Coalition provided testimony.

Read TWS’ Position Statement on Feral Horses and Burros in North America

Becar_Headshot Jennifer Becar is a policy intern at The Wildlife Society as part of the Government Affairs & Partnership program.

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