Interior secretary faces questions over wild horses program

Historically, the BLM has tried to adopt horses taken from the wild, but the pace of the roundups exceeds the rate at which private owners adopt them. Activists believe BLM cheaply sold about 1,700 horses since 2009 to a Colorado rancher who may have sent them to Mexico to be slaughtered. The rancher, Tom Davis, lives near the Salazar family ranch and told reporters he’d done business with the Salazars in the past, which Salazar has denied.

DOI’s Inspector General is investigating BLM’s sales to Davis.

Horse activists hope that Congress will grill Salazar’s potential replacement, REI chief Sally Jewell, on how she will reform the faltering program.

“We can’t go on like this,” said AWHPC director Suzanne Roy in a statement. “This ineffective program is not only wasting tens of millions of taxpayer dollars, but also is running the risk of eliminating wild horses from America’s public lands for good.”

Salazar’s office did not respond to an email asking if he plans to address the concerns.

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