Thursday, October 30, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Federal protection sought for wild horses in West

Wild Horses Endangered Species

In this May 17, 2007, file photo, manes flow in the wind on some of the mustangs from Karen Sussman's White Sands herd on her wild horse conservation refuge in Lantry, S.D. Mustang advocates say the wild horse is on the verge of going extinct in North America for the second time in 13,000 years and deserves protection under the Endangered Species Act. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt, File)

By
From page A9 | June 29, 2014 |

RENO, Nev. — Despite overall numbers in the tens of thousands, mustang advocates say the wild horse is on the verge of going extinct in North America for the second time in 13,000 years and deserves protection under the Endangered Species Act alongside grizzly bears, the desert tortoise and humpback whales.

Efforts to halt mustang roundups in Congress and the courts have been unsuccessful over the past decade, but two groups in a petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service are focusing on genetics and research they say prove the horses are a native species. They say growing threats from development, livestock grazing and government gathers are jeopardizing the genetic viability of individual herds in 10 states from California to Montana.

“Nothing else is working. This is a different avenue,” said Michael Harris, a lawyer for Friends of Animals, a nonprofit animal rights group that filed the petition with the Colorado-based horse group, The Cloud Foundation.

The petition states mustang habitat has shrunk 40 percent since President Richard Nixon signed the Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act into law in 1971. It advances an argument that the Bureau of Land Management long has rejected – that the wild horse is a native species that only temporarily went extinct on the continent 11,000 to 13,000 years ago before Spanish conquistadors reintroduced it to North America in the 1500s.

The call for protection comes as BLM insists the public rangeland – much of it in the throes of drought – is being degraded by an overpopulation of nearly 50,000 horses and burros, about half of them in Nevada.

The petition accuses the agency of undermining U.S. law protecting mustangs by abusing its authority to order roundups based on a determination that the herds are in “excess” to further the agency’s interest in minimizing competition with wildlife, cattle and sheep.

While BLM estimates 49,208 horses and burros are on the range, the petition says none of the isolated herds number anywhere near the 2,500 most biologists consider necessary to keep a distinct species viable. About three-fourths have fewer than 150 horses, it said.

Harris, legal director of the wildlife program at Friends of Animals, admits it may be tough to sell the public on the idea the mustangs are endangered given there are thousands in Nevada alone.

“But I don’t think it will be a hard sell at all to the biologists at the Fish and Wildlife Service who examine the question of genetic viability over and over when it comes to endangered species,” he told The Associated Press on Friday.

The Nevada Cattlemen’s Association and the Public Lands Council are among those arguing the petition is invalid because the horses aren’t native to North America. They say protection afforded mustangs under the Wild Horse and Burro Act is undercut by BLM’s failure to keep herd sizes in check.

“The federal government is buckling to pressures from the misguided special interest groups that don’t want to see ‘wild’ horses brought off the range,” said Dustin Van Liew, executive director of the council tied to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “Listing wild horses under the ESA – which is meant for wildlife, not domesticated, non-native animals – would only serve as another demonstration of just how damaging that statute is.”

BLM spokeswoman Celia Boddington said Friday that the agency hasn’t changed its longstanding position that today’s American wild horses are not “native.”

“American wild horses are descended from domestic horses, some of which were brought over by European explorers in the late 15th and 16th centuries, plus others that were released or escaped captivity in modern times,” BLM’s web site states.

The petition filed June 11 points to recent research concluding that the modern horse – genus Equus – originated in North America 3 million to 4 million years ago, spread to Eurasia by crossing the Bering land bridge 2 to 3 million years ago and became extinct in North America no longer than 13,000 years ago.

It cites the work of Jay F. Kirkpatrick, a leader in horse reproduction research who directs ZooMontana’s Science and Conservation Center in Billings, Montana.

“It is native to North America,” Kirkpatrick said. “The Spanish were bringing them home.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • pet loverJune 29, 2014 - 2:40 pm

    49,208 wild horses and burros would make a lot of dog food.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JimboJune 29, 2014 - 11:08 pm

    Who wants to bet if that Nevada cattleman who never pays his BLM land use bill to graze cattle is the loudest yapper complaining about the horses?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Home: Some things never change

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

 
Victim of Tuesday traffic incident dies

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 4 Comments

Holiday boutique set for weekend

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Live Your Dream award applications due Nov. 15

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
 
Transportation Info Depot opens Monday in Suisun

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

Salvation Army set to host Kroc Fest

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
 
Suisun City police log: Oct. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Deadline looms for vote-by-mail ballots

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
Fairfield police log: Oct. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

 
.

US / World

California orders risk-based Ebola quarantine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

 
Pentagon orders 21-day Ebola quarantine for troops

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
US health care unprepared for Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Suge Knight, Katt Williams charged with robbery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Military jet crashes in California, killing pilot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Army blows up houses, Egyptians evacuate near Gaza

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Peshmerga troops cheered by fellow Kurds in Turkey

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

New York, New Jersey look back 2 years after Sandy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Russian rocket engines suspected in launch blast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Al-Qaida: IS should rejoin group and fight West

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Bill Clinton says voting is cure for polarization

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Lava 100 feet from Hawaii home, nearing main road

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Police: Man decapitates mother, is killed by train

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Opinion

We’ve got to stop meeting like this

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7

 
Editorial Cartoons: Oct. 30, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Davenport, Pal, Spering best choices for vote

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

 
Measure A helps students

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

Jane Day for council: She cares

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

 
Do you trust Spering?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 2 Comments

Support for Spering, Moy

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

 
Measure A a simple choice

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

Mraz is desperate

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 5 Comments

 
Vote for Moy; Vote for Fairfield

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Time for something new: Integrity

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

Supports Timm for Fairfield council

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

 
Measure A a wise investment

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Spering record not set straight

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

 
In support of Brian Thiemer

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Debate was eye-opening

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Vote for Catherine Moy

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Tonnesen right choice for City Council

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Vote for Tonnesen

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Learn to say no

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Support for Bertani

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

Proposition 47 fails to advance state

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Mraz not best officer for council post

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Moy is the leader we need

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: Oct. 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Oct. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Oct. 30, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A10

 
My sister won’t talk to any of us, I’m worried about my nephew

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A10

.

Entertainment

‘House of Cards’ actress Norment dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Orson Welles’ last film may finally be released

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Taylor Swift talks books and music with kids

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Sports

Royals’ dream season falls short in World Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Bumgarner, Giants beat KC to win World Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

Bumgarner, Giants beat KC 3-2 in Series Game 7

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Selig’s imprint seen in Game 7 of World Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Giants fans revel in victory

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Giants ace Bumgarner wins World Series MVP

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors whip Kings 95-77 in season opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jose Canseco resting at home after shooting hand

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sacramento breaks ground on new Kings arena

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

It’s Thursday Night Lights for SCAC

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B2

 
49ers rookie center Marcus Martin to make NFL debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Stanford men looking to build on NCAA tournament run

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Carr prepares for tough test vs. Seahawks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Vanden’s McDaniel repeats as SCAC singles champion

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

Gov’t pushes air bag maker on replacement parts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Fed ends bond buying and cites brighter job market

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Obituaries

Hardie Lee Doshier

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Howard Lenowsky

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Robert Louis Wright

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10