I’m sure I’m joined by many others who share Evan Blythin’s frustration with the management of feral horses and burros on public lands (“Wild horse roundup,” Sept. 19 Review-Journal letters). However, his ire is misplaced.
The Bureau of Land Management, although it is part of the executive branch of government, was created by Congress and is tasked with carrying out the laws and dictates of Congress. When the Wild and Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act was enacted into law in 1971, the proponents failed to consider that, in the absence of predation, the population of wild horses and burros naturally increases by about 25 percent per year, doubling about every four years.
Hence, we have a population of about 30,000 feral horses in Nevada, protected by law, and we have very little in the way of funds to manage their numbers and impact. The lobbying prowess of the wild horse and burro advocates is on par with that of the National Rifle Association, so very few members of Congress are willing to address the issue.
Adding insult to injury, former Nevada Sen. John Ensign declared that horses are companion animals, just like dogs and cats, and should not be considered a potential food item. In a 2005 appropriations bill, Sen. Ensign added a legislative rider to defund the Agriculture Department’s meat inspectors at the two existing horse slaughter facilities in the United States, thus putting them out of business.
As evidenced by the condition of horses recently rounded up near Cold Creek, there will inevitably be a population crash due to starvation, and unfortunately the range and native wildlife will suffer greatly in the process. The excessive number of wild horses and burros is arguably the most intractable issue facing the BLM and U.S. Forest Service managers, and it will be for as long as Congress shirks its responsibility.
Trump’s bully tactics
Donald Trump ended one of his most recent outlandish statements with the words, “But really, folks, come on. Are we serious?” Really folks, are you serious that you want to elect a bully into public office?
Mr. Trump’s critical comments about everyone who doesn’t support his thoughts and actions are those of a bully. They are the kinds of comments we are or should be working hard to eradicate in order to build up the United States, not tear it down.
A bully is defined as “a person who is habitually cruel or overbearing.” I believe this defines Mr. Trump. If we continue to let a public figure degrade people, we are teaching our children that it is OK to be disrespectful to anyone who disagrees with them. The United States has huge issues with bullying in our schools and in general. Mr. Trump’s continued public display makes it seem acceptable to push around anyone who gets in one’s way.
Mr. Trump claims he is a big-league believer in God and the Bible. Where in the Bible is degrading others supported? Can you imagine Mr. Trump dealing with foreign countries and calling their leaders idiots? Can you imagine him negotiating anything with anyone? Why would anyone want to subject themselves to his rants and nasty comments?
If Mr. Trump wants to “make America great again,” he certainly isn’t doing so by putting other people down. I agree we need change, but a change for the better, not change shaped by bullying tactics and degradation.
Pope no hypocrite
Regarding Linda Lovelle’s letter (“The pope and refugees,” Sept. 24 Review-Journal), Pope Francis did in fact encourage all European dioceses to take in at least one refugee family from the war-torn areas of Syria and North Africa. Her accusations of hypocrisy are way off base.