The U.S. Forest Service has been blatantly distorting the truth regarding wild horse reproduction rates of Oregon’s Big Summit wild horse herd in its attempts to reduce the number of wild horses to extinction levels. However, this herd’s population has been relatively static at 130 horses for many years, exposing the Service’s blatant lies.
The Forest Service’s proposed plan contains three options with its preferred being “Alternative 2,” which would reduce the herd to between 12-57 horses. A herd of just twelve horses would likely sentence the herd to immediate extinction, and any number below the current 130 would render the herd’s genetic viability futile. This option also suggests a particularly brutal form of surgical sterilization, which involves the barbaric and painful removal of mares’ reproductive organs.
The Forest Service based its plans on flawed data that only considers 4,900 acres, which constitutes the horses’ winter range, instead of the 25,434 total acres of their territory. The Service also utilized a ridiculous 30% riparian zone calculation to account for transitional areas between dry land and bodies of water, despite only 4% of the winter range actually designated as “riparian.”
In classic anti-horse double-speak, the plan states that “none of the alternatives will substantially impact resource,” meaning that “resources” such as streams, vegetation, and other wild animals are virtually unaffected by the presence of wild horses. This is inconsistent with other sections of the document that incorrectly blame resource damage on the wild horses. The document also conveniently omits mention of severe damage from 100 years of logging interests and ranchers grazing exploited animals on our public land, as well as more recent human ATV usage.
What YOU Can Do:
The U.S. Forest Service is only taking public comments for a very short time on this contemptible plan.
- Call one of the project leaders at the Lookout Mountain Ranger District of the Ochoco National Forest. Contact Beth Peer at 541-416-6463 or Tory Kurtz at 541-416-6407.
I oppose “Alternative 2” of the Forest Service’s proposed Ochoco Wild Horse Herd Management Plan EA, it is a recipe for the destruction of this herd. These horses have steadily maintained their numbers at about 130 individuals year after year, with no resource damage to the public land they inhabit. The Appropriate Management Level should be raised to at least 150 horses, with humane, reversible fertility control as needed. Under no circumstances is brutal surgical sterilization acceptable which can be fatal!
- Write a polite comment expressing your support for the horses to the U.S. Forest Service on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Send our letter, by filling out the form on this page (with your personal touch) by May 7th to Slater Turner, District Ranger, Lookout Mountain Ranger District.
In Defense of Animals