Since 1959, the U.S. Congress has legislated the treatment and management of wild horses (Equus ferus caballus ) and burros (E. asinus ; WHB). While the legislation has ensured WHB a place as western rangeland icons, subsequent congressional actions, in response to public lobbying, have limited federal managers’ ability to manage WHB populations under the U.S. public land multiple-use doctrine. Federal land managers tasked with managing for multiple and competing interests on public lands of the western United States must not only consider WHB habitat requirements, but also wildlife species diversity and livestock grazing. Developing multiple-use management strategies while fulfi lling other mandates will require balancing rather than maximizing a single resource use or user. Grazing by wild and domestic animals can modify plant community composition and structure, and overabundant populations negatively impact rangeland–watershed function and wildlife habitats. Negative eff ects on wildlife may include avoidance of water sources by wildlife, forage loss and altered plant communities, altered bird communities, and impacts to soils and insects. Eff ective management for riparian and rangeland health includes managing both the abundance and the distribution of large grazers. Unless large grazers (including WHB) are managed, range condition and wildlife habitat are at risk. While livestock can be moved and removed, and big game can be hunted, the management and removal of WHB populations continues to face strong public opposition. The management of WHB under the federal land multiple-use doctrine will require implementing innovative, diverse, and tough management strategies founded in the biological and social sciences. This special issue of Human–Wildlife Interactions explores these issues in depth. This paper frames the context in which WHB management must be achieved under the U.S. public land multiple-use doctrine.
Danvir, Rick E.
"Multiple-use Management of Western U.S. Rangelands: Wild Horses, Wildlife, and Livestock,"
Human–Wildlife Interactions: Vol. 12
, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/hwi/vol12/iss1/4