Two prominent, mainstream environmental organizations — Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and Western Watersheds Project — exposed the BLM’s own grazing data that reveals commercial livestock, not wild horses, responsible for overgrazing. These organizations were joined by the Sierra Club last November in calling on the BLM to stop scapegoating wild equids for rangeland damage that is attributable to vast herds of beef cattle and flocks of sheep.
Then there’s the tired debate about whether wild equines are native to the West. The ancestors of today’s wild herds evolved on the North American landscape over millions of years, paleontologists say. It is true that wild horses were wiped out from their home turf at the end of the last Ice Age — likely by human hunters — but some Indigenous tribes insist the horse never completely died out.