The Truth About Carrying Capacity of Wild Horses on Federal Lands: As Biology Shows Us

28 Apr

“The ugly fact about the Bureau of Land Management is they lie, as well as mis-inform the public, and too our Senators and Congressmen, telling them situations about a over-population of Wild Horses on Federal Lands, that are and remain a biological-impossibility. This situation, alone, becomes very costly to the taxpayer, and in the $ millions of dollars.”  — John Cox, The Cascades

It struck me as odd, one day, when I discovered the Bureau of Land Management (i.e. BLM from here onward) know nothing about managing our Natural Resources and in particular does not know how to manage a sound Ecological Habitat toward health.  Then to the Wild Horses, and I discovered they “know” even less.

Yes, their misinformation and lies to the public in the matters of Wild Horses nothing more than a supreme ignorance (i.e. academic and noteworthy in this discussion), or a mind-set of being nothing more than livestock that does not make money; so, in their mind of minds, the wild horses are of no use, which is also an attritional value of ignorance at its worst.  Difficult when a government agency becomes a big part of our throw-away society, which again, attrition creates a lot of damage when conducted ignorantly.  But when there is ignorance involved, those who behave with this mental-disorder, have no idea they are being so obvious – similar to hate, and many have no idea they are the hateful ones nor will never admit such.  None the less, we move on with our discussion of breeding in the wilds.

Basics of Breeding in the Wilds

Clearly, and a situation the BLM use, typically, erroneously, is the fact of exponential population growth.  This is, for example, one species, such as the Wild Horse, will double to two, two to four and so forth yearly – But what is significant here is to know, and acknowledge the true fact of this situation can only occur for a short-time period.  And, the other valuable fact to acknowledge here, is this can only happen in “prefect conditions” or within extremely healthy ecological habitats.  So the BLM basically, unknown to them, point out their recklessness and even incompetence in managing our Public Lands, by their lies that promote (biologically untruthful) over-population of Wild Horses’.  This will become clear as to why, below and reading further.

We can look at the gut bacterium Escherichia coli which can reproduce every 20 minutes.  Within a perfect system this rate of growth, after 36 hours and exponential ratios come into effect, the descendants of a single bacterium would cover the Earth 1 foot deep; and within the next hour they would be completely over our heads . . .

My point here is that Nature takes care of things like this, its own biology of reality so to speak.  Any natural growth is restricted, constrained by the availability of ecological habitat resources and many other practical realities of Nature.  This means we can trust nature to do what it needs to do, biologically as well as fundamentally, and in our case within this conversation, the Wild Horses can become naturally restrained, biologically, within their breeding circumstance and when we consider their natural habitats, and manage them appropriately; thereby, rather than the way they are being managed to destruction currently, with a single-species priority (cattle) type of economic ecology theory that simply show us time and again, this process, this theory, simply does not work.

But, the very serious problem we have today, is the BLM and Department of the Interior, their oversite agency, ignores biology entirely, and approaches the Wild Horse situation, as well as our ecological habitats, within a special interest driven situation.  Then it is combined with a political-motivated confusion-of-reality context, and the cost of simply managing our Federal Lands develops into $-millions of dollars, often into $-billions of dollars, from what is nothing more than a causation, derived from simple ignorance.

Limiting Factors of Growth

So, we can now go to the Natural World of wildlife, and we discover the reality, that “limiting factors” inhibit uncontrolled growth.  By now you have far more knowledge in biology than the common BLM employee, and their way-ward perception of wild horse management; but, as you will see further, their perceptions are very destructive, and cost the taxpayers far more in management-dollars, when compared to the reality of very little management required, and, within a matter of fact context, many of the things they do under the guise of management is simply considered frivolous activity = quite costly.

Getting back now to “limiting factors” is the reality of availability of food and the competition for that food.  What we see on our Public Lands are unhealthy ecological habitats, due to a single-species priority of a non-indigenous nature = Cattle.  There does exist bears cougars, and wolves, which are Apex Predators and real-time priorities within an ecological habitat that upholds a healthy process or living standard.  BLM and others, due to their money-trains, state there exist no predation circumstance in Nevada, for example.  But that is untrue, when we look at the NF&G, and their increased permits to hunt the Apex Predators for population control, and their documentation to support the increase of permits within population removal of the same Apex Predators.

Worse yet, we see a significant over-abundance of cattle, as many technical reports and articles by knowledgeable researchers and ecologists explain very thoroughly.  Then in walks the very lack of knowledge from a BLM employee, and with a smile and totally ignorant, states, “. . . well shoot, heck no there’s no over-abundance of cattle on Public Lands, not that we know of.”  And indeed, that particular person may enjoy his or her status of being ignorant, without even knowing the truth.

Thereby, the problem of misinformation, and actually when one dwells into the legal aspect, would be considered fraudulent activity, as it is basically false information given to the public as well as to Senators and Congressmen, to acquire their Federal Taxpayer Supported budgets for the year.  One can even consider the RICO Act, as it is also, when considering the 2 banks involved making billions of dollars in holding grazing permits as collateral for what is termed Welfare Ranching, and we have organized crime – combined with a very corrupt government agency.

I am pointing out the difficulty here, that creates a low-standard of management principles, that generates a far less situation of healthy ecological habitats, above and beyond Nature’s Ways of going about the business of wildlife survival.  Yes, BLM’s methods toward management of our Public Lands remains in direct conflict with Mother Nature, and her methodologies.  Under their type of management, ironically, Wild Horses do not flourish, they cannot do so under such unhealthy circumstances.  So, the BLM counts, just within principle and known science, or lands management principles, proves that BLM Wild Horse Herd Counts are nothing more than biological impossibilities – then we do fly-overs, and confirm the matter of their erroneous horse counts, which are indeed misinformation in total.

Logistical Growth

Once again, we run across Nature’s way of doing things, and getting it done quite well, far and above the human species intervention, which most often develops into a travesty of our Natural Environmental Landscape.  But the same situation exists within populations of wildlife, whereas, founding populations do grow (i.e. wolves for example, or cougar, or coyotes) quickly – but over a short-time period, as they encounter limiting factors, growth levels off.

This is why, scientifically, many of us are against these killing-contest of coyote, as it basically bites the nose off of one’s face to spite themselves.  Coyotes, for example, within their “founding” circumstance multiply exponentially, then after awhile will level off to a habitat-controlled circumstance of population resistance – yes, Mother Nature again, at her finest.  Then a kill-off takes place, of the coyote (as one example of many others), and the “founding” period is started all over again, an out of balance with nature circumstance.

The point at which the wildlife population size is within balance with its resources is referred to as “equilibrium.” This is beneficial, and happens when the number of individuals, or species groups for that matter and within a habitat, can and does support very well the species that lives within that habitat, and the “carrying-capacity” of that species, or all of the species within it.  Noticeable is the fact we are on the road to proper management, and again the Natural Process of things click-into-action, so to speak.

A look further in Carrying Capacity

Here is where the rubber meets the road.  We have found two types of carrying-capacities that can explain this very easily.

  1. Organisms, or species, that live within an unstable, or dangerous environment tend to become short-lived. They become within an explanation type of situation, always at the “founding” level of their environment.  Their growth can become exponential until the habitat improves, or they can become a travesty and destroy the habitat, due to over-population – such as the non-indigenous Cattle herds are doing (provable and factual as shown within good science, not motivated by political or money-train special interest situations).  So yes, we have a simple biological and nature-driven resolution, less-costly to boot, and very provable, but totally unknown, ironically, to BLM employees responsible for our Public Lands Management currently;
  2. Species within a healthy Ecological Habitat have fewer offspring, as good science shows us quite often – these species reproduce later in life, and in the matters of wild horses, some mares come into season, others do not (assuredly, 100% of mares do not come into season 100% of the time and is fraudulent information at the least – the same with Wild Horses live forever = ridiculous, and very ignorant to state as a fact), which is a biological circumstance directly involved with a healthy or semi-healthy habitat – and there exists more time and resources in raising their young, and where the health of their offspring plays a bigger role in reproductive success, than does the actual number of offspring, which becomes less over time.

As within anything in nature, we do find inconsistencies, but not that often within a healthy ecological habitat.  Taking a closer look at Wild Horses, we can find consistency, and lower birth rates when in a healthy environment, where diversity does exist.  The wild horses then move to the “equilibrium” state, or as mentioned above, . . . into a beneficial circumstance, and happens when the number of individuals, or species groups for that matter and within a habitat, can and does support very well the species (diversity and not a single-species priority situation) that lives within that habitat, and the “carrying-capacity” of that species, or all of the species within it (i.e. diversity again).  Noticeable here, but not on our Federal Lands, is the fact we are on the road to proper management, and again the Natural Process of things click-into-action, so to speak.


Much more can be written in the matters of this subject alone.  But, what we are seeing today is a disruption in our ecological Habitats, that eventually, in nature’s time, escalates to the entire Environmental Landscape, and yes, we have some serious problems.

It is a disgusting circumstance that wildlife and animal advocate organizations are taking part in the ignorance of BLM information, and establishing money-trains, I might add very awkwardly, and very ignorantly as well.

Ol Bob, logger, wrangler — had something to say about it, of course, “Well, John, those people would not know a good situation, even if it grabbed them in the ass.”

Yes, often we neglect the reality of what Nature can do and provide to us.  Somehow there exist those people who feel entitled, above and beyond their obvious ignorance, and claim they know everything.  Well, in this case they do not, and it is time to stand up to them, and all ignorance for that matter, as America is being torn apart due to the ignorance that is so common today, and about everything, it seems, the Wild Horses symbolic of that exact situation.  But one thing for sure, we need to stop sacrificing America’s Wild Horses for ignorance.


Posted by on April 28, 2018 in Uncategorized


12 responses to “The Truth About Carrying Capacity of Wild Horses on Federal Lands: As Biology Shows Us

  1. Barbara Warner

    April 28, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    And now BLM has submitted their evil plan for extinction of our wild horses based on lies and corruption

  2. Wilderness Mustangs

    April 28, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    So very true; I am currently studying “Compensatory Breeding” as I do feel that as you also have stated the truth that Mother Nature indeed does know best……when they remove those animals; the horses move into survival mode. The BLM always has needed a fresh new reason to remove more and more of them while not caring about the species itself and their survival. Of course now; the horses will eventually die off/extinction due to sterilizations and the pzp component on top of it all !!
    Corruption? totally…..Lies? totally….Protests and new management needed asap! Well written

    • Photographer and Journalist

      April 29, 2018 at 11:11 pm

      Unfortunate, also for the wild horses, is the fact HSUS, not the same as the Humane Society but an extension of a corrupt nature, is paid millions up to this point, in grants, for the use of Pesticide PZP under their Patent. Through research, we find them very antagonistic, even to the point of involvement with hate groups, to attack those against the Pesticide PZP use on wild horses. Today, our perception of the HSUS, and their involvement in hate groups to coerce others into ACCEPTING the use of Pesticide PZP, essentially so they do not get stuck with a non-useful breed control chemical product, they act more like corrupt criminals than an actual profit/non-profit based humane organization. There exist other non-profit groups also, but they obtain their money from HSUS, we take it as pay-off or bribe money, either one or either way, the situation very corrupt.

      • Wilderness Mustangs

        May 4, 2018 at 8:44 pm

        They are all corrupt; by the very fact that the pesticide PZP was never really released with the proper testing completed; there are not only questionable intentions but by that very fact it should not be used….period. Thanks John for your insights and knowledge; Thanks for all you do!

  3. Barbara Warner

    April 30, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Thank you so much for having the courage to tell the truth, John.

  4. Maggie Frazier

    April 30, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    IF the horses were allowed the area needed for survival, i.e., allowed to migrate from one season”s grazing to another, predators allowed to survive in their own habitat to do their job rather than slaughtered to satisfy the livestock industry’s corporate owners, and grazing allotments completely prevented in the horses’s habitat? What a world this would be, right? Sounds like a dream!
    As always, John, super article.

    • Photographer and Journalist

      May 1, 2018 at 4:41 pm

      No they do not need that. And no, it is not a dream. A single-species priority wrecks destruction within a wildlife environment. Designating HMA’s show the total ignorance of the BLM and the DOI, in the matters of ecological habitats.

      Programming the public to make-believe areas need to be sealed-off for specific purpose, is not of a scientific nor ecological nature, but rather a design of human greed and dream like occasion — Many of us take the “Dream Situation” aspect, stated from those totally ignorant of what wildlife is, and what wild areas are all about — go out and look in an area, occasionally, sit within it, and look it over — it is human’s, due to extreme egos, that we blatantly disrespect nature, always, due to our mind sets on what is a dream, what we assume nature is compared to what nature is in reality — and what is natural and can occur naturally — many humans simply have no idea what nature is — and many of those humans are also horse advocates!

      Go stand in the middle of a remote natural setting — with no boundaries, and see what Mother Nature has to say to you, personally. . . Many people fear to do just that — Fear made one stand at the door and not open it — be the first to open the damn door, only then will you know how fear run your life. And why many simply do not understand the Wild Horse at all . . .

      • Maggie Frazier

        June 27, 2018 at 9:28 pm

        Sorry, didnt really make myself clear!
        John, I understand there can be NO “just let all of them go- do their own thing” – prospect. Whats being done to the wild horses is of course only part of whats being done to pretty much all wild animals – predators taking a greater hit of all of them. My “dream” would be making possible for ALL wildlife to have habitat that is as much as possible, theirs to live in the way they used to before we all started “managing” them.. The re-wilding attempts in other countries are a start – using areas that humans seem to no longer want! The groups that appear to want to just open the gates & turn the horses loose – wherever – need to also understand that there MUST be predators & other wildlife. Nature isnt easy for any wild creature – but then – humans are the ones who want it “easy”!
        We have removed far too many species ability to migrate as they were meant to do.

  5. Photographer and Journalist

    June 28, 2018 at 2:07 am

    Well Maggie, yes and no. The Public Lands is very rich in room-to-roam. And also the 11 Western States, we also find lack of proper science and management paradigms toward wildlife (see my new blog just posted today). But here’s the thing, and what I have experienced, even at the capacity of the supposed 40,000 to 60,000 plus — their numbers and in reality biologically impossibilities – but just for an example here, let’s pretend they are in the ball park (which is bullshit to, as they are not even close as their figures assume no horse die, no death at birth, all mares have foals, all foals live, and not horses die mid-way, or 3/4 way through life — what a non-death world the BLM has thought we would suppose true, so anyway on with this discussion).

    When I have done fly-overs, throughout the previous years, I would see bands of horses, of as few as three or four, and as many as fifteen to twenty-five at maximum. A lot of land mass occurred between those bands, and it was only when the BLM had an occurrence of roundup, where days before they would start assimilating those bands, which took a lot of time and taxpayer money to pull off in the numbers they would bring back to the temp-corral-traps, and from the storage canyon they would hold them until the trap sites up and catch nets ready/corrals ready, and for public views. We had also caught them several times dumping off horses at remote canyons and other sites, seeding the herd population while holding in canyons, for more numbers, in appearance, being rounded up.

    So, what I am saying in real-time, is the fact we could, if those numbers actually exist in the holding corrals today, drop that number back into Federal Land i.e. BLM / Forestry, and have no problems what so ever.

    The available lands that wild horses can roam is vast. There is no over-population, because it is a reality, just a lot of damn land that exists, and 40,000 horses in 11 western states of Fed-Lands (doubtful it would be that, as they snuck-out to slaughter too many for that number to exist right now, and the reasoning they do not wish to place them back, as they would have to come up with those numbers, that taxpayers have been continuously paying, in the millions of dollars in feed per year – and they don’t exist in real-time)

    So you can also understand more so now, why they would say anything, to not release 40,000+ horses back onto Federal lands . . . but they can sure as hell place 2.4 illion more cattle onto Federal Lands — so the big question is, how is that, especially if the Federal Lands, as they say, cannot hold 40,000?????????

    • Maggie Frazier

      June 28, 2018 at 1:19 pm

      I agree completely with what you are saying – reading the numbers of “increases” that Grandma Gregg lists? Of course “someone” is moving horses into herds (seeding them) in order to make it appear there are these vast numbers. And the fact that according to them – none of them DIE? But With the present push to do more drilling, mining, grazing – cutting back on national monuments, allowing hunting in wildllife preserves – theres an awful lot of big money in back of all of this greed – get what you can before someone else does!
      And it certainly appears that every wild horse HA or HMA at this point has allotments – which means cattle, which means killing predators.
      But why is it so difficult to make people understand that a mare can only produce one foal a year – stallions do NOT have foals and horses DIE! I guess because I grew up in a small town and was lucky enough to get involved with horses when I was a kid my view is different than someone who was brought up in a more urban area & wasnt involved with animals – any kind of animal.
      Sorry – have run on enough – thanks for your replies.

  6. Lavonia

    September 25, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    Past time to dismantle and then restructure for the better of all

  7. Candy Nichols

    February 23, 2022 at 6:53 am

    Great article- conclusive evidence as to the complete incompetence of the BLM.


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