After the Friends of Animals announced they are challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) rejection of their petition to list the feral horses inhabiting the Pryor Mountain Herd Management Area under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association has spoke out.
The feral horses, located on the border between southeast Montana and north-central Wyoming, are subject to management by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to maintain a “thriving, natural ecological balance” on the rangelands the horses graze.
USCA Board Representative for Region VI (Montana, Idaho) Maggie Nutter issued the following statement:
“The Endangered Species Act, when used appropriately, has had its fair share of success stories. However, to utilize the Act in this manner, for a species that is non-native and invasive, would be counterproductive to the original purpose of the Act and consume much-needed resources for truly perilous species.
“While this may be a highly emotional issue for some groups, the science plainly shows that the condition of our rangelands deteriorates where wild horses and burros overpopulate an area. The Endangered Species Act is not the vehicle to manage feral horses and burros. The BLM has established Appropriate Management Levels and has the authority to successfully manage the region’s resources; livestock producers must adhere to strict stocking rates on public lands, the government should adhere to the same rules.”