Checks & Balances are Necessary for the Healthy Habitat

Checks & Balances are Necessary for the Healthy Habitat

~ Samantha Lewis

The one thing that animal rights’ activists, environmental workers, scientists, and even government agencies seem to be able to agree on is that the world is a place of checks and balances. In order for a country to remain level and not slide too much to either side that ends up hurting the planet, people must work together and be educated. If a habitat has too much of this, but needs that, the check and balance system comes into play. However, there are certain issues around the globe that still cannot be solved with the check and balance system, because the taking of species is either a conclusion someone has come to that is not working, or an illegal job where animals and habitats are the poorer for it.


Diceros_bicornisExamples of this are easy: The Black Rhino. The habitat needs this species, and this species is dwindling because of illegal activity. They are hunted for their horns and horns alone, and then their carcass is just left. There is no reason for this killing except to line pockets, which means this is a failing of the check and
balance (and legal) system. Wolves. Where there was once none, there are now a great deal. But instead of initiating the ‘move’ to other states that need them, the way to take care of them is simply to shoot – destroying the ecosystem. Sharks, dolphins…hunted, caught in nets, having the fin ripped off the shark for the creature to die just to make soup even though the creature is now disappearing from the seas and causing the oceanic habitats to die out as well. This is, yet again, where checks and balances are not being watched.


But there is yet another in the headlines. Wild horses. Some come out and claim that the species are killing habitats. (No offense, everyone, but before we got here the animals and the habitats thrived, so perhaps we should be looking at our own tastes and non-environmentally friendly choices before turning to the animals). In other cases, there are actual arguments being made that people are too close to their horses. That’s why they cannot be killed, or thrown into the old glue factory, or sent to France as a dining choice…because humans have too much nerve to like them. Make up your mind.


Here is what the truth is. These are facts that can most definitely be checked with any (real) organization. In North America, wild horses are necessary because they complement the ecosystem. Because of their lives, everything from soil building to plant seeding to reduction of dry vegetation to the prevention of catastrophic fires, has been helped by these particular animals.


Perhaps there are arguments that the horses are ‘liked’ more than other animals, such as cows, that can just be killed because people want hamburgers, Nokota_Horses_croppedbecause the law on wild horses is more a ‘beauty’ law than anything else. It was in 1971, that the U.S. Congress recognized wild horses as: “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West, which continue to contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people.” Fast forward to the world of 2014, and these horses, these wild mustangs, are actually far more necessary than a symbol…they DO contribute greatly to the diversity of life forms. In other words, without them, you are taking out the balance that will bring about, yet again, environmental disuse and disrepair.


Before getting all angry, the balance works both ways. If the wild horse population exceeds the capability of the habitat then the environment will no longer thrive either. However, the Bureau of Land Management conducts the removal of wild horses from public lands to keep the balance after years of monitoring the habitat growth and the expanse or decrease of the herd. It is unnecessary to just go out and shoot – even though that is the mindset of many.


This is the work that should be understood:


“Poor rangeland health can accelerate a decrease in the health of the animals. Therefore, the BLM annually monitors the condition of the animals and their habitat. The BLM will also periodically count wild horses and burros. Resource specialists from other disciplines also monitor the rangelands. The BLM assesses the monitoring and census data and determines if and how many animals must be removed from the range. When the BLM determines that there are too many wild horses or burros, a “gather plan” and environmental analysis is made.”


Short and sweet and to the point. There are already people in charge of making sure the checks and balances work, and when people take matters into their own hands they are actually risking their own property that they work hard to achieve. Animal adoptions also exist. Animal movement to other states, exists. If you remember, that is how the wolves set up shop in Yellowstone, because they were moved there to HELP the environment. When a pack or a herd or any gathering of a particular animal grows too expansive, they are moved, not killed.


Yes, protection is a must. Protection for you and your family. But that is not the majority of kills that are happening when it comes to various animal species. And that should be remembered.



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