Navajo Ranchers: “We Need to Manage Feral Horses”

“The March 1, Navajo Times covered the feral horse issue (Hunt canceled, feral horses a growing problem, page A1). Here’s a response by a guy with the name of a horse. In 2013, I helped the Department of Agriculture with a horse roundup. We had a crew that rounded up horses in 54 chapters. That was five years ago. Why is the president just now stating, ‘We do need to implement a horse management plan’? The plan should have been done in 2013.'”The Navajo Times

Navajo ranchers wrestle a feral horse. High Country News

Excerpt:  Feral Horses…The Navajo Times

“He also stated, ‘Horse management plan includes castration, birth control and adoptions.’ The option is ludicrous. Sounds good but each animal will continue eating 32 pounds of forage and drinking 10 gallons of water per day. We need forage and water for livestock that bring us revenue. Rez ranch life has its challenges. Can’t speak for other producers but for me it’s too many wild, unbranded, unclaimed feral horses, followed by drought and open range.

Horses wait in a cement culvert along Highway 160 for a Navajo Nation agriculture horse trailer. Navajo-Hopi Observer

Trying every strategic planning to improve beef cattle business isn’t working. Open range is a terrible way to make a living raising livestock on the rez, financially that is. In the summer months I spend money feeding, watering, buying salt blocks and range cakes for my cattle.

But in open range, the major concern is many, many feral horses at Oakridge Wildhorse Country Ranch. Named the ranch for many feral horses that nobody owns. I have horses for ranch work; I don’t need more than three.

Feral horses deplete natural springs at Oakridge. I want to ask the guy from Betatakin to come get the feral horses. I’ll help with the roundup and trucking…BIA and Navajo Nation will continue blaming everything and everyone except the fact that they allow resource mismanagement to continue for almost a century.”

Category: Animals