Members of the Wyoming Horse of Representatives Agricultural Committee have passed a resolution calling on Congress to find new ways to control the wild horse population in that state.
The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act federally protects wild horses and burros residing in western states and places them under Bureau of Land Management (BLM) jurisdiction. The BLM Wyoming website indicates the bureau manages about 3,000 horses in 16 different herd management areas (HMAs) within the state. The agency said it establishes appropriate management levels for each HMA to ensure a proper ecological balance between wildlife, livestock, and wild horses.
Earlier this year, the BLM began removing wild horses from an area known as the "checkerboard"—a part of the range where private, federal, and state lands intermingle—to comply with a consent decree between the BLM and owners of livestock that also graze BLM-owned land.
The state of Wyoming subsequently filed suit asking the court to order the federal agencies to manage the state’s wild horses according to the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.
On Jan. 14, members of the Wyoming House’s Select Federal Natural Resource Management Committee introduced HJ 0003, which asks Congress and state and local authorities to take action to remediate damages caused by free-roaming horses on western rangelands. The legislation also asks the BLM to develop effective fertility-control methods to reduce wild horse populations.
The resolution claims that wild horses d