Officials mull ways to limit wild horse population growth

(KMVT/Garrett Hottle)
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BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A federal official says there are too many wild horses on public lands, and potential solutions include new sterilization methods, aggressive adoption efforts and holding more horses in corrals.

Acting Wild Horse and Burro Program Division Chief Bruce Rittenhouse of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management says the nearly 90,000 wild horses in 10 Western states are more than three times appropriate levels.

Rittenhouse made the comments Wednesday to members of the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board.

Wild horses are generally viewed as iconic symbols of the West, but officials say they have few predators and quickly overpopulate and surpass what rangelands can support.

As a result, another 50,000 wild horses are being held in corrals at a cost of $50 million annually.

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