Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

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Managing healthy wild horses and burros on healthy rangelands: tools and the toolbox.

Abstract

The Wild and Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act (WFHBA) of 1971 authorized the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to manage feral horses (Equus ferus caballus) and burros (E. asinus) on public lands in the United States. The special issue of Human-Wildlife Interactions, Special Topic: Wild Horse and Burro Management explored, in-depth, the ecological, policy, political, practical, and sociological issues pertinent to the BLM and USFS management of wild horses and burros. In this commentary, I summarize the pros and cons of the available contemporary policy and management options, the tools in the BLM and USFS toolbox, that can contribute to achieving the intent of the WFHBA. Ultimately, it will be up to Congress to choose which options are in the best interest of the American public and our natural resources.