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Topic: Flora & Fauna     Department: Letters

What's wild?

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I consider the recent article on wild horse management one of your best ("Nowhere to Run," HCN, 11/12/12). It seems that some people are adamant that horses have no place in the wild. Others consider them equivalent to deer, elk and other wildlife.

How long does a species have to be here to be considered native? These horses maintain their herds in a totally self-reliant way. They find feed and water, reproduce, and make it through tough winters and dry summers along with the best of wild animals. In some places, they have done so for a couple of centuries. It seems that the problem is that they sometimes out-produce their habitat. This probably happens in a worse way where there are few mountain lions or other predators that can take down the young and old.

If more population controls are needed, the new infertility shots, like those that TJ Holmes uses so successfully, will keep things in check. I for one am happy that the BLM is funding wild horse management. I have no reason to quibble about which animals are hardest on the grass: horses, cows or even sheep. Still, the overall numbers of any species must be kept in check. So thanks to all of those new dedicated managers of wild horses.

Marilyn Colyer
Mancos, Colorado

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