Federal land managers are again seeking congressional backing to sterilize, euthanize or sell for slaughter tens of thousands of wild horses roaming public lands across the West.
But the Bureau of Land Management has added a new idea for culling overpopulated herds: $1,000 paychecks for those who adopt one.
Overwhelmed by what it calls a $1 billion problem, the agency trotted out the novel approach in a suite of options presented to Congress on Thursday to address the challenges it admits are both "controversial and politically sensitive."
Horse advocates condemned the package of alternatives as "a road map for destruction of America’s wild free-roaming horses."
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association praised the agency for trying to end a decade-long stalemate in Congress it says has resulted in unhealthy horses, degraded rangeland and program costs that are spiraling out of control.