By Ben Deci, Fox 40 News
SACRAMENTO-For years, the Bureau of Land Management would fly helicopters through herds of wild horses to round them up and control their population but now, there’s a problem. The BLM is running out of room running out of money for the horses.
“It’s true. The long-term-care is more than we pay for old people in care centers. Isn’t that something? Were spending more money for a horse defeated the rest of his life than we will on our own mother and dad,” rancher Burl Tolbert said.
ToLbert drove all the way from Utah to be at the BLM a meeting in Sacramento on Monday, and he’s not the only one who’s come to make the point that what the Bureau is doing isn’t working.
“We have more wild horses in government holding facilities today and we have free on the range,” Deniz Bolbol, of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, told FOX40.
Advocates like Deniz say there is too little land set aside for wild horses to begin with, and it’s land that used by cattle ranchers as well as the horses.
“They have completely devastated the area for several miles in each direction,” testified one rancher at the BLM meeting.
Bolbol and other advocates say the ranchers are the one putting too much burden on the BLM grazing lands.
“It’s less than 3 percent. It wouldn’t make a blip on the beef market if we eliminate all public grazing tomorrow,” Bolbol said.
Still, the ranchers using that land have farms that have been passed down through two, and three generations. They say they’ve worked in good faith with the BLM for decades, and that they want what’s best for the animals as much as the advocates do.
“These people love these horses. They don’t know what they’re talking about, but they love them. And I don’t think they loved them half as much as I do,” Tolbert said.