Wild horses at the Nevada National Security Site, via Wikimedia Commons.
In a letter to the House Natural Resource Committee Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Nevada Rep. Dina Titus called for an increase in the protection of wild horses, and blasted the Trump Administration for weakening conservation efforts.
“(U)nder the Trump Administration, federal land managers, in particular the Bureau of Land Management, have taken significant steps to remove protections for these animals, shifting resources away from scientifically-sound birth control programs and wasting limited resources on costly and dangerous roundups and holdings which only exacerbate population growth,” wrote Titus in the letter.
Nevada has the largest concentration of wild horses and burros in the nation, which Titus said “are a source of pride for our residents, visitors, and tribal communities” in the state.
Titus did not hold back on admonishing the Trump Administration for what she sees as a “total failure in leadership” on the federal management of wild horse and burro populations asserting that “the numerous scandals and failures of the Trump Administration” has lead to serious and significant issues in policy and a lack of transparency and accountability within the Department of Interior and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
New policy submitted by BLM in July has created loopholes for the sale of wild horses and burros to kill-buyers and the sale and transportation of wild horses and burros across state borders for human consumption, said Titus in the letter.
Titus wrote to former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in September asking for specifics on the policy changes and proposed wild horse roundups in Nevada and has yet to receive a reply. Zinke resigned in December amid an onslaught of ethics charges and Interior is currently being led by Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt.
“(N)o one from the Department of Interior or the BLM responded to my letters,” wrote Titus. “I am deeply troubled by this Administration’s changes in policies, questionable budgetary decisions, and failure to respond to the inquiries of Members of Congress. I am hopeful the House Natural Resources Committee, under (Grijalva’s) direction, can shine a light on this total failure of leadership.”
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