January 14, 2017
While we are gearing up for a fight over horse slaughter and budget language that would allow BLM to strip wild horses and burros of federal protection and hand them over to state and local agencies that actively lobby for mass roundups and slaughter, a larger issue will play out in Congress. The future of our public lands is at stake. This month, Congress passed legislation that would make it easier to turn over federal lands to states, tribes and even businesses. Will the new Trump Administration, including Interior Secretary nominee Ryan Zinke, go along?
The move to turn over our public lands to states would spell the end for wild horses in states like Wyoming, Idaho and Utah. It would be disaster for efforts to conserve other wildlife species and to protect these lands for future generations. Fortunately, we have an unlikely but powerful ally in this fight -- hunting and fishing groups that want to protect these lands to preserve their recreational interests. We hope that these groups will hold sway with Rep. Zinke, himself a hunter, and President Elect Trump, whose sons are also hunters.
Despite diverse interests, it's time to put together a broad coalition to defeat the forces in Congress who want to destroy America's public lands legacy.