Not quite as obvious are the economics that support many wild animals, such as deer and elk for instance that have economic support from the hunting industry as ‘game-animals’.On the other hand, wildlife that are not seen as ‘game animals’, such as wild horses, have no such economic value placed upon them as they did in the century past when they were a key source of transportation and logistics in America.The clear implication is that the Lakota tribes had been taming and using wild horses for buffalo hunting for at least several hundred years before the arrival of the Spaniards and the re-introduction of their horses to America. Black tail deer in western coastal areas similarly have little potential for grazing competition for foods with wild horses, hence the characterization used by wildlife biologists in regard to the co-evolutionary grazing adaptation between wild horses and cervids as being ‘commensal’; essentially Arguably one of the cattle industry’s favorite whoppers is that wild horses damage range and riparian lands.
The myths herein below were relatively easily perpetrated during the time that predated the Internet, when advanced scientific information was available via relatively few and obscure resources.Today the information is available for those who are willing to spend some time to conduct some research and due diligence.Throughout American history, the cattle industry has been for the most part unreasonable to other livestock producers.The American range and Sheep Wars of the 18th and early 19th centuries are clear evidence of this statement, as is outlined in this summary: : The Sheep Wars, or the Sheep and Cattle Wars, refers to a series of armed conflicts in the Western United States which were fought between sheepmen and cattlemen over grazing rights.Wild horses have many other mutualisms within the ecosystems of the American landscape, including with trees, which they adopt as their means of shelter from the heat of the summer and rains and snows of winter.
In return, wild horses graze-down all of the grasses and plants under the trees thus removing that fuel for wildfires.
Wild horses on the other hand have a very simple single stomach gastric system, which passes most of the seeds they consume intact and viable back onto the pastures they graze, thereby effectively reseeding the pastures.
This is without doubt an evolutionary symbiotic mutualism where the plants and grasses provide sustenance for the wild horses and via their hummus rich droppings, which also contains nutrients valuable to the seeds when they germinate.
But it is well-known that cattle and sheep operations have wreaked more havoc on US rangelands than all other species combined over the past 5000 years, as “The most severe vegetation changes of the last 5400 years occurred during the past 200 years.
The nature and timing of these changes suggest that they were primarily caused by 19th-century open-land sheep and cattle ranching.” So as we can now see, the cattle industry and others who repeat these myths and false narratives have done and continue to do a grave injustice to the reputation and the natural history of America’s wild horses, which have been a great blessing to mankind; literally a gift from the Creator.
Between 18, approximately 120 engagements occurred in eight different states or territories.