Marybeth Devlin is a fact filled advocate for wild horses. She often comments against biased articles and research paid to fool elected officials. Now Devlin is exposing Laura Snell, a livestock and natural resource advisor with UC Agriculture and Natural Resources who is out to blame wild horses for damage from cattle or other large grazers. If the publication doesn’t post Devlin’s comment on this article http://www.newswise.com/articles/wild-horse-overpopulation-is-causing-environmental-damage we want to make sure you can read the advocates comment here:
1. My experience observing Laura Snell disparage the wild horses, blaming them for any and all problems in the Forest, has led me to conclude that, for whatever reason, she has antipathy toward them. Her animus makes for a strong bias that infects her research. Snell’s studies appear wired to yield predetermined outcomes, which are consistently anti-horse and pro-cattle.
2. For instance, Snell’s trail-cameras are positioned, as your article says, “near remote water sources.” Cattle generally don’t “do” remote. So, is it any wonder that most of her photos are of wild horses but not cattle? Thus, her documentation is skewed. It builds a false case.
3. Snell mischaracterized the number of wild horses permitted in their own dedicated territory. The government has not determined the “ideal” number of horses. The number was set as low as possible to maximize livestock grazing slots (AUMs). Please note that ranchers sought Snell out. They are well-aware that she conducts her studies to advantage livestock-interests.
4. A constituent of Congressman LaMalfa, William Simpson, submitted an excellent proposal to deploy wild horses to graze down the dry old forage that would otherwise become fuel for wildfires. Horses are perfect for the job because they roam, because they access remote areas, and because they love dry forage. Plus, they work for free. Simpson calls it the “Wild Horse Fire Brigade.” High-level administrators in the Department of the Interior are interested. You won’t be surprised to hear that Snell opposes the plan and has been busy spreading falsehoods about it. However, Mr. Simpson took one of Snell’s propaganda-pieces and debunked it, point-by-point.
5. The Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory was the subject of a recent lawsuit in behalf of the wild horses. The suit charged that USFS had illegally split the territory in two, removed the middle 25,000 acres, and then reduced the number of horses allowed. The appelate court agreed, and ruled against USFS.
6. There is serious doubt regarding the overpopulation-claim for the Devil’s Garden wild horses. Too often, counts reflect herd-growth rates vastly exceeding that which is reproductively possible.
Protect Mustangs is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org