Idaho’s public lands are home to over 775 wild horses, descendants of domestic horses that escaped or were turned out on public lands prior to the Horse and Burro Act of 1971. The BLM must study and monitor the horses to determine how many wild horses each management area can support while also providing for other land uses and resource values. Wild horses have few natural predators. With herd populations doubling every 5 to 6 years, the BLM periodically gathers and removes wild horses to maintain each herd to ensure horse and rangeland health. On this Elemental Idaho, rebroadcast from December 2013, BLM spokeswoman Jessica Gardetto joined me again to talk about the program, the challenges it faces, and the process of integrating the needs of the animals on public lands with other uses.
Listen to the original broadcast here.