How Many Horses is Too Many?
Over the Thanksgiving holidays my mother took me to a new house she has been in the process of building near Yakima, Washington. On the way there, she pointed out about a dozen wild horses. Myself being someone who has always loved horses, I became very excited. However, my mom told me that there are too many wild horses in that area. As I looked at her in confusion she pointed out that much of the land was bare and had no grass. She said if something isn't done about the issue a lot of these wild horses would die.
As I was looking into the issue, I found that what she said was very true.
On Highway 97 within the Yakima Reservation there are 15,000 horses trying to survive on this 41,000 acres of land where there is little grass for them to graze. This is ten times more than the amount that experts believe the land is able to sustain.
This issue puts the horses at risk for starvation, and puts the the land's fragile vegetation in jeopardy, as well as encourages the spread of weeds. According to some of the resources I researched, the growing horse population is not a newly found issue, but it has been getting much worse. The Yakima Tribal Council Chairman Harry Smiskin stated that solutions are still being discussed. Recently, tribal members were getting ready to capture some of the horses, and then sell them for saddle, and pack animals, or for slaughter. Slaughter seems to be one of the most likely options, according to one of my sources. What do you believe the answer to this problem is?