Environmental Health and Wild Horses: A Design for the Future

Environmental Webinar Steve Israel

Image: Steve Israel, Director, Institute Of Politics And Global Affairs At Cornell University, Former U.S. Representative (D-NY) With These Esteemed Panelists: Congresswoman Betty McCollum; Wayne Pacelle, President, Animal Wellness Action; Ross MacPhee, Curator, American Museum Of Natural History; Michael Connor, Partner At WilmerHale

The CANA Foundation recently hosted a special webinar with The Institute Of Politics And Global Affairs At Cornell University. Moderated by Steve Israel, the Director of the Institute Of Politics And Global Affairs and a former U.S. Representative. The webinar addressed ways that rewilding might return horses to their native habitat to help the environment, save taxes and protect wild horses.

Watch this important webinar and check out some of the remarks by the panelists, below.

“Environmental Health And Wild Horses: A Design For The Future”

“So my goal with you with working with you is to make sure that we’re protecting the health of the herds and the health of the habitat, because if you don’t look at the habitat, you’re not looking at the health of the herd, but we also need to be good stewards with taxpayers funds… BLM needs to really find these willing landholders to lease and exchange pasture for long term holding of these animals as we work on and implement a rewilding program, which has to be part of this discussion as we take these horses and burros and work to decrease population at the same time increase their quality of life.”
––Congresswoman Betty McCollum

“In this country, in order for conservation activities to go forward, we have to go back. We have to go back to understand our past–– what this country was like before we changed everything under relentless pressures to exploit and develop. The purpose in mind here is not to recreate bygone ecosystems. That’s not going to happen, but it’s instead to take from the past those lessons that can give that can give us a better future, which is what we’re presumably all interested in. A future in which we attempt to live in some kind of harmony and balance with the other creatures on the planet, and the forces that govern life on this planet so we can expect to have many more millennia to enjoy.”
––Ross MacPhee, Curator, American Museum of Natural History

“You need the details of the plan. And that means a commitment of resources… it’s going to take a bell curve of resources. We’re going to have to invest. Now to implement those strategies of strategic gatherings for purposes of relocating to pastures of an aggressive population control and contraception to promoting adoptions–– all those things are going to take big investments now so that hopefully we can get to a much more sustainable, from a budgetary standpoint, budget levels, in the future.”
–– Michael Connor, Partner At WilmerHale

“The BLM has really been focused on resource extraction. They’ve been involved in mining, oil and gas development and also ranching and when we think about the number of horses, whether it’s 80,000 or 90,000. We’re a little skeptical of BLM’s estimates on this. Let’s take 80,000 as a number. Let’s say there are 320,000 horse and burro hooves in the 11 western states. There are 16 million plus hooves for cattle and livestock and this industry has been demonizing horses saying that they are trespassers. They’re interlopers. They are competitors, at some level, for the forage, but for so many cattle for 35 cattle and sheep for every wild horse, that is really where the degradation of riparian areas where the erosion is occurring. You know, we’re seeing the climate change problems. These marginal lands are going to be even more difficult for these animals to live on.”
––Wayne Pacelle, Animal Wellness Action

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