Running wild

The Warm Springs reservation grapples with a growing wild horse population.

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For decades, Warm Springs Indian Reservation has been home to thousands of wild horses. Now, with horse sales dropping and environmental concerns rising, land managers have to decide what to do with so many horses.

With the wild horse population on the reservation growing — at last count there were about 4,000 wild horses — the balance between protecting the horses and the land is becoming more difficult.

“Nobody is buying horses right now because they know they can’t get rid of them,” Smith said. “And it’s affecting our natural resources.”

Two years ago, the last horse slaughterhouse in the U.S. closed, according to Kathy Bernard with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. One possible solution for the Warm Springs wild horse dilemma is building a processing plant, where the horses would be slaughtered, and the meat could be packaged and sold abroad.

Read the full article in The Bulletin.