Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Are wild horses native to US? BLM view challenged
American history textbooks teach generation after generation that the wild horses roaming the Western plains originated as a result of the European explorers and settlers who first ventured across the ocean and into the frontier. But that theory is being challenged more strongly than ever before at archaeological digs, university labs and federal courtrooms as horse protection advocates battle the U.S. government over roundups of thousands of mustangs they say have not only a legal right but a native claim to the rangeland. The group In Defense of Animals and others are pressing a case in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that maintains wild horses roamed the West about 1.5 million years ago and didn't disappear until as recently as 7,600 years ago. More importantly, they say, a growing stockpile of DNA evidence shows conclusively that today's horses are genetically linked to those ancient ancestors. The new way of thinking could carry significant ramifications across hundreds millions of acres in the West where the U.S. Bureau of Land Management divides up livestock grazing allotments based partly on the belief the horses are no more native to those lands than are the cattle brought to North America centuries ago...more