Letter to the Editor: Comment on the proposed BLM fence

Dear Editor:
This letter is a comment on the Bureau of Land Management’s proposal for “BLM seeks local input on Rio Blanco County fence.”
First, the notice is completely lacking in the sort of detail that would inform the interested public of the when, where, how much and at what cost and why? Why not? Because there is no good reason to build any fence.
Secondly, and more importantly, the proposal lacks credibility and common sense because it ignores the current and long-term condition of the subject Herd Management Area, which is an overpopulation of feral horses.
Wild horse populations increase at the finite rate of 20 percent a year. In other words, over a four-year-plus period, a horse population of 100 would increase to 200, absent any intervention.
Since according to White River’s BLM Land Use Planning (as prescribed by the Federal Land Policy and Management act of 1976), the horse population is supposed to be managed at or below roughly 200 horses in the HMA and, after this year’s colts are born, will be in excess of 500, is it any wonder that the horses are seeking new range outside the HMA?
Removing horses to manage the population is the most effective management option available. Why then, does the BLM consistently fail to do this and, thus, violate the law?
New fences are an ill-conceived Band-Aid approach to a symptom of the very real disease stated above. No matter how many fences are built, horses will naturally seek a new range through open gates or cut fences. Further, it is an historical fact that the BLM will not maintain these fences.
More importantly, has anyone else noticed that our federal government is broke and is now spending the inheritance of your children and grandchildren?
If the BLM spends any money, it should be to remove the horses, not to build unnecessary and costly new fences that the BLM will not maintain.
Mark Hafkenschiel
Meeker

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