Imagine the thousands of jobs that will be created by safari-style tours from Las Vegas where nearly 40 Million tourists visit each year, if wild burros on Route 66 attract a half million people a year to tiny Oatman, Arizona. European, Asian, Latin and North American visitors will love seeing wild horses and burros exhibiting distinctly wild behaviors so close to the Strip, the world capital of indoor adventure and the potential hub for outdoor adventures.
After years of protesting roundups, members of the Las Vegas group, America’s Wild Horse Advocates (AWHA), felt it was time for positive change by working with the BLM. In early 2012, they created the Spring Mountain Alliance, a 501(c) (3) non-profit, volunteer organization of concerned citizens, businesses and professionals to answer then BLM Director Bob Abbey’s 2011 challenge to volunteer groups “to help manage and sustain wild horse herds”.
No livestock graze on public land in the Spring Mountains east of Pahrump and west of Las Vegas, so BLM/USFS and the Spring Mountain Alliance have a unique opportunity to experiment with an innovative wild horse & burro management plan that will help the local economy.
Using volunteer labor and expertise, the Alliance’s 6-point plan can be implemented at little or no cost to taxpayers. This 6-point public/private plan will provide quality jobs by leveraging the existing resources of Vegas tourism stakeholders like hotels, tour companies, airlines, etc. BLM will be aided in its effort to perform its land management mission in a period of dwindling resources. The wild horses and burros will be sustained in natural family and bachelor groups in their native habitat.
The Alliance’s 6-point plan is a win-win alternative: hundreds of thousands of visitors can be attracted to our ‘Serengeti in Las Vegas’ at little cost to taxpayers. However, BLM/USFS must be willing to try a new approach to wild horse & burro protection.
We have extraordinary wilderness in America and our Mustangs are the American equivalent of lions and elephants. If Third World Africa can save their wildlife for tourism and earn billions doing that, why can’t our American government preserve our wild Mustangs and historic burros properly for tourism? We the people must turn these government agencies around.