When we look at the current dilemma of the plight of the American Mustang we shall take a close look at the agency that was appointed for it's protection and management on the range. Consider that this is the only congressional act issued for the protection of an animal, reason being that it is the mustang neither considered wildlife nor domestic and therefore does not fall under wild life management.
Look at the events of the TAYLOR GRAZING ACT, the advent of the invention of Barbed Wire and the institution of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM - part of the dept of Interior) to prevent overgrazing and regulate range utilization.
1971 WILD HORSE AND BURRO PROTECTION ACT:....
Since 40 years have passed and at present the BLM is widely considered dysfunctional. Dysfunctional for itself internally and dysfunctional for its stakeholders outside the agency as a tool for the dept of Int...
1.There is a brazen conflict of interest: the BLM manages the range for multiple use: Ranching cattle and sheep, oil, nat.gas drilling and exploration, hunting and recreation at last but not least wild horses. Readily apparent is the conflict of interest.
2. Lack of transparency (Internal and external) )The public wants to know and have access yet is denied such on a regular basis when it comes to decision making and distribution if rights and entitlements.
3. Lack of adabtability and flexibility: Even though the agency was created to halt land abuse and regulate indiscriminate claiming the very same standards and entitlements are still enforced today...(Ranchers insist on old established rights of use without restraint)
4. Corruption (Science is for sale) Studies and resulting issuance of permits for drilling and stock use are in direct conflict with balanced multi-use since profitability dictates distribution. Culture of corruption dates back to the large landowner-disputes.)
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN:(WHAT WENT WRONG)
There are a variety of responses:
1. Abandon of true faith (without third party independent monitoring the principles will not be upheld)
2. The demand to maintain the old status quo vs. the demand to upgrade and modernize
IT BROUGHT ABOUT THE DECLINE OF THE RANGE - FIND CULPRIT AND REMOVE
Our responsibility and a great opportunity as citizens is now to design and acquire new guidelines and strategies to revamp the management of our public lands to multiple but sensible and aware utilization. That requires time and research. The elimination of the wild horses is only a symptom of the ailment... Part of the broader transformation is to identify and define the statistics and means and balances and then approach a new reorganization that would possibly not imply the traditional agency.
Until then our wild horses represent the second hand on the clock that is ticking...their numbers reflect our conscience.