Wild horse invasion

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Christopher Smart's "BLM's wild horse management at a crossroad" (Tribune, Nov. 12) gave two sides to the important issue of wild horse overpopulation, but it neglected to mention that these horse populations are invasive.

In Utah, we fight hard against many invasive species, such as foxes and raccoons. We even exterminate native wolves. Yet these horses are some sort of exception?

Historically, deer, antelope and bison grazed these lands, but they have been flushed out and replaced by horses and cattle that overgraze the land. Wild horses have been allowed without any form of predation, so it should not be a surprise that their population is exploding.

At this point, there should be two paths to consider: Let nature take care of the overpopulation, or do it ourselves. Nature can be cruel in her methods of population control, so the latter may be the more humane method.

How can Ginger Kathrens and The Cloud Foundation justify the desire for an increased wild horse population? Is it really important to try to protect an invasive species?

Thomas J. Reiersen

Salt Lake City