We are appalled that the Alberta Government is again issuing capture permits for wild horses on public land along Alberta’s Eastern Slopes. It appears that the main thrust for the reduction of wild horse herds is from grazing lease holders concerned that horses are consuming forage at the expense of their cattle. Bob Henderson, president of the Wildhorse Society of Alberta (WHOA) was told by Don Livingston, a land manager with ESRD out of Rocky Mountain House, that forage is considered 50% for cattle and 50% for wildlife. No percentage for horses. When Bob stated, “this falls back to a cattle issue”, Don Livingston, confirmed with, “yes, it does”. ESRD’s position is 0% grass for the wild horses?
How will this year’s capture affect the beautiful horses we enjoy so much in Kananaskis Country? Will the small herd of mustangs in the Mustang Hills area, who are probably having a hard time surviving in the deep snow, be wiped out. Gleaning information from the WHOA site, Don Livingston stated that the 2-3 permits issued would only be for the Sundre region. But with the head of the Rangeland Integration Section of ESRD in Edmonton stating they were looking to capture up to 196 horses over the entire wild horse regions, we cannot be certain that the Elbow region’s horses will be safe.
So keep an eye out for unusual plowing of roads, building of temporary corrals and for any other activity that might indicate a wild horse capture may be taking place in Kananaskis Country.