About 83,000 roam the West — more than three times what federal managers say the land can sustain. By next summer their numbers could grow to 100,000.
Late last month the federal Bureau of Land Management, which oversees the management of wild horses on its vast land holdings, gave Congress a range of options for cutting the herds. They are drastic, and include large-scale sterilization and slaughtering of thousands of animals. The options are controversial and expensive.
None will address the fundamental imbalance at the root of the problem. It isn’t that there are too many horses; it’s that there aren’t enough mountain lions.