I believe the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program should stop gathering wild horses and burros until they can afford to feed and care for the ones they already have in holding facilities. Perhaps birth control methods could be used in some manner to control the size of herds in the west in the meantime. It just is not responsible to gather healthy horses and put them in the facilities that are already over crowded. I know, as I have been a volunteer with the program for 4 or 5 years, that most horses that arrive at the eastern holding facility are in good shape. They are the lean, half-starved creatures the public has been led to believe they are.
It is rumored that HMA's have been emptied of wild horses. These HMA's were designated for wild horse use in the 70's wild horse and burro act and as far as I know have never been lawfully removed from the program. Perhaps some of those horses now in holding could be returned to those HMA's or perhaps horses could be redistributed to those areas now empty of horses.
Finally, the BLM seems to have become hostile to volunteers. The last time I showed up to help out a BLM representative told me I was not needed but changed her mind when she learned I had come to take part in the taping of a TV documentary supporting the horses.
My suggestions are:
1. Do not gather any more horses and burros till you can feed and care for the ones you have.
2. Reopen zeroed out HMA's and use them for horses that must be moved.
3. Embrace willing volunteers.