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Starting the post with a disclaimer- This is a personal blog. These are my thoughts and opinions based on the facts presented in the meeting. I DO NOT represent any particular group or TRNP with these statements.

  After listening to the initial public notification zoom meeting on Wednesday, about the proposed livestock management plans that the park is creating, I am worried.

     The overall 'feel' I got from the call is that there are already studies returning data that is allowing the park to move forward with what I will call a 'drastic' reduction plan.

     None of the options they are presenting look very promising right now. The canned answers they were giving to the questions posed by the 'public' at the meeting didn't exactly make me warm and fuzzy. The panel was prepared with scripted answers, to what was supposed to be an open forum.

     I have to keep reminding myself that the herd is only as big as it is currently (180ish head) because the CSU study that started in 2009.

     I have to keep reminding myself of just how hard horses can be on their environments.

     Especially environments that are not 'native range'.

     While those of us who follow the horses and know their quirks and personalities are reeling, wondering which half of the herd will be part of the reductions, we have to remember, that this is an overall look at the entire dynamic problem that wild horses are facing all over the country.

     When responsible management is delayed, it feels immediately good, but now, looking at this management plan revisal, It is a sucker punch to contemplate which horses may be removed.

     The cold, hard, reasonable truth is, there shouldn't be 180 head of horses to fear losing.

     Based on my own interpretation of historical data and gathering, the herds 'optimal' for overall environmental and park health is the 50-70 animals that the park is proposing.

     We shouldn't have the relationships and attachments to the other half of the herd that is facing removal, because, honestly, the numbers wouldn't have ever been allowed to get so high if it weren't for the study (Again, my interpretation here)

     I want to make something perfectly clear here, I am not against the park management, I am not against a herd size adjustment.

     As I realize that the herd size now that we are used to is due to a lack of action in the recent past, and the studies that allowed the herds to grow as it would basically without the hand of man controlling it.

     I am not against updating the Livestock Management plan that is older than I am. I understand basic facts and science and know that it needs to be done.

     I am simply not “for” the “solutions” that are being provided.

     I am against the feel that whatever is coming is completely inevitable, and there is nothing that those of us who care for the horses can really do to stop it.

     This is the point that the bitter enemy factions need to come together and do what is actually best for the horses.

     It is time to put aside the 20 odd-year-old personality differences and bury the figurative hatchets.

     The reality is, if those of us who care about the horses can't quit fighting amongst themselves, the horses will lose, and all of us who love the horses, who find solace and peace among them, will lose right along with them.

     Now is the time to have one solid cohesive voice.

     Now is the time to quit the shouting matches, and find the calm, respectful tones that will get attention and gain traction. 

       The bitter reality is, that under all of the management solutions that are currently proposed, more than half the existing herd will be on the chopping block.

     So I leave you with the tongue-in-cheek rejoinder.

     “Can't we all just get along?”

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