Letter: Reduce herd or let them starve
Due to the current drought, all range land in northwestern Colorado is in a serious crisis. Forage grass simply did not grow anywhere near the normal amount. I have not been to the Sand Wash Basin lately, but I’m sure it is no different than everywhere else. There simply is not enough feed available to carry the current herd through until April. Even if it rains, the plants have completed their cycle, and they will not grow anymore. What is there now is all we will get.
A significant amount of the forage plants have already died as a result of the drought. Even if we have a good wet winter, the range will not recover for a couple of years.
A cold, windy, heavy snow winter will be catastrophic for the wild horses.
Without adequate nutrition, a very high percentage of the horses will either starve to death, freeze or die of illness. Pregnant mares that must feed two, young horses and older horses are in serious danger.
We have two choices. Either reduce the herd to match the available feed or let them suffer and die.
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If it is any consolation, many ranchers must sell their herd that they spent years breeding.
This drought is not a passing game. It is deadly for every man, women and animal depending on forage for survival. Horses depend on forage.
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Years ago, I moved to Steamboat Springs in great physical condition. I planned to make my life here after many years of school receiving a masters in psychiatric nursing. To help my getting employment at…