Greer Haseman

Greer Haseman 6 months ago on Tom Ross: Ecologist tells Steamboat audience wild horses play a vital role in the West

Mr. Ross: First, I wanted to thank you for covering the issue of wild horses and for giving a voice to Craig Downer through your reporting. Those of us who champion the wild horse..even from afar (as I live and work in Oak Park, IL a suburb directly west of Chicago) believe in Craig and his exhaustive research.

I believe that the wild horses and burros belong in the wild. I object strongly to how they are routinely and inhumanly driven into long term holding pens by the BLM, at the cost of tens of MILLIONS of tax dollars per year...and then many are quietly sold off to slaughter. These facts are well documented. These magnificent animals are taken from public land, my land as well as yours, so the government can lease it to cattle ranchers or drillers. The horses and burros do not effect either and could and should co-exist. They do not eat the same thing as the cattle, and they play a vital role in the biodiversity needed to maintain a delicate balance. In addition by eating large areas of the dry brittle grass only they can digest they play a natural role in helping to control catastrophic wildfires.

Please if you have time, research the Sheldon roundup (these are legacy horses) and then read about how the government is going to do a "burn" to reproduce the effects of the removal of the brittle grass the horses would have eaten. Hopefully you will begin to grasp how ridiculous the government can be on this subject but I doubt you will grasp how frustrated those of us who champion the horses freedom are. We are fighting both the Executive and Legislative branches of own government with limited funds and people...when they use our seemingly unlimited tax dollars to keep fighting us while just doing what they deem they need to do without the benefit of solid research.

The wild horses and burros are protected. They helped build this country. They should be left free. They should be left alone and in VIABLE herds to keep the fragile balance and they should be left free so I might one day be able to enjoy seeing them in the wide open spaces that you in Colorado call home.

Thank you,

Greer Haseman Oak Park, IL