Prior to the 1976 passage of the Federal Lands Management and Policy Act,...there was passed the Wild Free-roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 which bestowed a statutory right for the equines to remain on their historic rangelands. It is stipulated that said lands be "principally" dedicated for their use. The word "principally" inserted into this law implies that other uses of the land may be permissible but also implies that these "other uses" are secondary to wild horse and burro use. In other words, there are no restrictions on any other use of wild horse and burro land as long as those uses do not cause detriment to the herds. Under the provisions of this law,...the wild horses and burros are the first resources to be considered in any land use plan upon THEIR LAND, and if a conflict of resources does occur,...it is to be resolved in the equines favor,...always. As statutorily mandated by the WFH&B Act of 1971.
Fast forward to 1976 and the passage of the Federal Lands Management and Policy Act which MANDATES a multiple use of the land with consideration of all resources "in balance" all with eachother, with Multi-use and "sustained yield" objectives to be the main considerations when making land use plans or decisions.
When objectives are not being met,..corrections will have to be made and plans altered, which usually results in the wild horses and burros getting the blame for a failure to meet land management standards or goals. It is this "multi-use" and "sustained yield" provision of FLMPA that the BLM relies on when determining a need" to remove wild equines from their historic ranges,....as we all know too well, in BLMs Land Use Managment Decisions, the wild equines are the first to get the shaft. Generally, they are THE ONLY ONES to get it.Every other use of the land seems to increase, including those damn cows!
However, Sec. 302(a) of FLMPA EXEMPTS lands previously designated for a certain use from the requirements of its own provisions. Under the exception clause in section 302(a) of FLMPA, there is no MANDATORY multi-use requirement nor "sustainabily of yield" factors to be considered when making land use decisions concerning wild horse and burro traditional lands,...as those lands are ALREADY designated as PRINCIPALLY for their use. As mentioned above, under the provisions of the WFH&B Act of 1971,...any and all other uses of the land COULD BE permiited but would be SECONDARY to the well-being and "principality interest" our wild equines have in remaining forever free and roaming upon their historic ranges. If other uses of the land are permitted, it is DISCRETIONARY and DAM WELL better NOT be detrimental to "the principal use of the land," which principality is, (how many times do I have to say it?) only guaranteed to them by the express provisions of the WFH&B Act of 1971 - the VERY SAME provision that the ROAM Act will take away!
What I find most incredible is that the BLM has been using FLMPA Requirements AS AN EXCUSE to remove our wild ones off of their traditional lands when IN REALITY the wild horses and burros roaming on their traditional rangelands are EXEMPT from those requirements!!! They are exempt from those requirements because of their previous entitlement to those lands pursuant to the WFH&B Act which statutorily MANDATES that those lands be set aside as principally for their use and I am pretty sure that the intent of that Act was to keep them there forever,...where they have always been, roaming wild and free on the rangelands of their ancestors.
In Conclusion: Wild Horses and Burros Roaming Upon Their Traditional Rangelands (as found or known in 1971) are EXEMPT from FLMPA requirements and persuant to the provisions of the WFH&B Act of 1971,..are (supposed to be)protected against any land use plan that would divest them from their principal use of the land.