RENO, Nev. (AP) — The U.S. government plans to capture more wild horses on federal lands this year than ever before, drawing sharp criticism from mustang advocates who hoped the Biden administration would curtail widespread gathers of thousands of horses annually across the American West.
Bureau of Land Management Director Tracy Stone-Manning, known as an ally of conservationists on several public land fronts when she was appointed in the fall, says the agency plans to permanently remove at least 19,000 horses and burros this year.
That’s 70% more than the previous high a year ago.
Critics say it’s a continuation of a decades-old policy that kowtows to ranchers who don’t want horses competing with their cattle and sheep for limited forage on agency rangeland in 10 states.
“It didn’t take long for Tracy Stone-Manning to sell out America’s wild horses,” Friends of Animals President Priscilla Feral said.
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