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Know the West

Wild horses harm ecosystems

  Regarding "You want fries with that mustang?" (HCN, 4/4/05: You want fries with that mustang?): I’ve worked in the Mojave Desert of California and in eastern Oregon, and in both areas, one could find "wild" horses, "wild" burros and cattle.

What these animals all have in common are the following:

1) They are not native, but they are competing with native animals for scarce natural resources.

2) They all trample native natural resources that our native flora and fauna need to survive.

3) In areas where water bodies are nearby, or underground water sources are present as in the desert, their droppings contribute to fecal contamination.

I understand that horses, burros and cattle are a part of history. I would rather see our tax dollars protect native flora and fauna, instead of going to programs that involve non-native species.

Liz Ellis
Lacey, Washington