February 28, 2009

Whose Home Is It?

Wild horses couldn't drag me away...

Yet there are many who would eliminate the wild horses. Read this fascinating article in National Geographic:

So the argument about wild horses and the resources they use comes down to this question: Do we have the landscape—physical and emotional—for them? While horse advocates and stockmen often argue the relative merits and demerits of the mustang on more emotional grounds, scientists are arguing on the basis of a fundamental fact: If the horses can be classified as native to North America, they have a right to the use of the land. If they're not native, they don't.

"Free-roaming horses are a feral, exotic species," said Joel Berger, a wildlife biologist based in Teton Valley, Idaho. "They're in direct competition for habitat with native wildlife." Berger suggested that the BLM's budget for wild horses might be better spent on the study and protection of native species. But Kirkpatrick and his sometime collaborator Patricia Fazio, an environmental writer, have long asserted that the wild horse is a native species and should be regarded as such by state and federal agencies. "Modern horses evolved on this continent 1.6 million years ago, only to later disappear," Kirkpatrick told me. "The two key elements for classifying an animal as a native species are where it originated and whether it coevolved with its habitat. The horse can lay claim to doing both in North America."

There is one species in North America that can not lay claim to either element:
Thinning by war doesn't seem to have been very effective over the past few thousand years and more direct thinning processes would probably not gain consensus.

It is time, then, for real change. Change that will end the practices and policies that focus on multiplying humans, on paving or shaving habitable land, policies that facilitate the vast income disparities that so many progressives decry.

Too bad that real change is not underway.

Posted by Steve on February 28, 2009
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