While I am one of those who usually sees the "glass as half full", many of those who know me, ask why the government suspicion regarding the recent escalated roundups, and where did it originate from? I believe it was in 2005 following the Burns Ammendment (2004) without any public notice or review, 30 years of the wild horse act was ammended. It escalated in my mind when I followed the Sheldon-Hart Mt. Complex on a controversial wild horse gather. I am not a range ecologist, but I spend a lot of time and thought on wild horses, wildlife, and the natural rangelands, and came across these photos as provided by US Fish & Wildlife Service to justify removal of wild horses.
Again, not being a rangeland ecologist, but I am highly aware of my natural surroundings. Look carefully on these two photos, provided by the US National Wildlifethe first one is labeled BEFORE Horse Gather 2004, the second as AFTER Horse gather 2005 " one year later", showing that the riperian area improved following the removal.
Pay close attention to the yellow flowering rabbitbrush and the 'greyed'-mature sagebrush. Those indicate the time of year to be late late summer/fall (where land typically looks dry anyway). In the second lower photo, they said it was the same time of year (one year later... following horse removal), that "riperian conditions improved". However, from my own field knowledge/experience in the high desert, and researching flowering times for Rabbitbrush, the second photo, if you'll notice the rabbitbrush is merely in the immature budding phase, and the sage has tender young bluish-silver tender new-growth. This photo indicates roughly the time frame to be 'approximately' May. (want to know more? http://www.bentler.us/eastern-washington/plants/shrubs/rabbit-brush.aspx). Does this appear misleading?
I have contacted them with all my questions and my concern of possibly misleading the public along with my relevant OSU and range ecology references, but my comments/concerns were ignored. Was this an oversight/error on their part? I truly hope so. But from what I've been finding, my suspicions grow... So I continue my endeavor to help protect OUR mustangs in my own small way.