Wild horse and burro summit sees push-back from advocates

Aug 23, 2017, 7:06 PM | Updated: 7:20 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – What should be done about the over population of wild horses and burros in the western states?  That’s what conservation groups were discussing at a summit held in Salt Lake City.  However, protesters greeted the summit, who say they’re concerned the discussion could lead to horses being slaughtered.

As of March, the Bureau of Land Management logged more than 72 thousand wild horses and burros on ranges in the western states.  That’s well above their goal of under 27 thousand.

Governor Gary Herbert’s Deputy Chief of Staff Mike Mower says, “We’re here because we love wild horses and burros.  We’re concerned about them.  But, we’re also concerned about the sustainability of the herds and about their health.”  He also says they need to worry about the fragile ecosystem of the west desert.

Others inside the conference say current methods of handling the animal population are costly and essentially ineffective.  Terry Messemer with Utah State University says, “The program continues to escalate and wild horse populations are increasing.”  Others say the overpopulation has a negative ripple effect on the rest of the animals living in the desert.

Protesters outside the summit called claims of overpopulation a smoke screen.  Cloud Foundation Executive Director Ginger Kathrens says this could lead to a mass slaughter of horses and burros.  “I would love to have the BLM, the managers of our wild horses, look toward solutions, not killing,” Kathrens says, adding, “For decades, they’ve turned their back on solutions to population growth.”

Representatives from other wild horse advocacy groups say management levels set by the BLM are arbitrary and a product of reduced rangeland for the horses.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Hugo Rikard-Bell

Why is there an Increase of wildlife in SLC neighborhoods?

If you've seen an increase of wildlife in your neighborhoods, you're not the only one. Weather patterns are putting animals on the move.
11 hours ago
Protesters block traffic as they rally against the fatal police assault of Tyre Nichols, in Venice,...
Nouran Salahieh, Holly Yan and Nick Valencia, CNN

A 6th Memphis officer is taken off the force after the fatal police beating of Tyre Nichols

Grisly video showing Memphis police beating a 29-year-old Black man has spawned nationwide protests.
11 hours ago
Water levels have hit historic lows at the Great Salt Lake. (Fox 13)...
Ben Winslow, Fox 13

Water, Great Salt Lake bills to be unveiled in the Utah State Legislature

Lawmakers are expected to spend upwards of $500 million on water conservation and Great Salt Lake measures this year.
11 hours ago
An officer-involved shooting on Jan. 29, 2023 sent a suspect to the hospital via Life-Flight. (Phot...
Amie Schaeffer

Officer-involved shooting in Iron County

A suspect in an Iron County officer-involved shooting Sunday evening sent the suspect to the hospital via Life Flight.
11 hours ago
NEWPORT NEWS, VA - JANUARY 07: Tall pine trees outside Richneck Elementary School on January 7, 202...
Brian Todd, Hannah Sarisohn, Nicole Grether and Artemis Moshtaghian, CNN

District reassigns principal of Virginia school where boy, 6, allegedly shot teacher, spokesperson says

The principal of Richneck Elementary School in Virginia has been reassigned within Newport News Public Schools.
11 hours ago
A cold snap brings sub-freezing temps to northern Utah. (KSL-TV)...
Randall Jepson

Frigid temperatures delaying some school start times

A frigid cold snap is causing in some schools in northern Utah to delay their start times. Utah State will also have a delayed start.
11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Wild horse and burro summit sees push-back from advocates