Gorey said BLM spends "nearly $50 million a year in upkeep for captured horses and burros," Dobuzinskis writes. About 67,000 of these animals "roam the U.S., mostly in Nevada and California, according to government estimates. Without natural predators, they have proliferated far beyond the roughly 27,000 animals the U.S. government says would be a population low enough to prevent overgrazing and preserve land for other animals."
Critics say numbers are overestimated, Dobuzinskis reports. "The Humane Society alleges the bureau spends so much paying private contractors to hold the animals that it cannot afford to expand its program to administer birth control to the animals on the range, which it contends would be more effective for population control than round-ups." (Read more)