Horse Rich and Dirt Poor
16 minutes, United States, 2018
Horse Rich and Dirt Poor follows ecologist, Charles Post, as he explores America’s pressing wild horse issue while in the field with biologists deeply invested in the wildlife and landscapes under fire. Wild horses are caught between an incredibly polarized and emotionally charged debate aiming to write their future in the American West. Wild horse activists largely want their numbers unbridled, herds free to roam as they have since introduction by Spanish Conquistadors in the 1500s. Others see wild horses as a resource that needs to be managed just as wildlife, rangelands, cattle and forage are. The means by which management may be accomplished are hotly contested. Regardless of mode, rangeland managers and scientists tasked with maintaining horse herds to appropriate management levels are caught in a stalemate: advocacy groups have consistently sued the BLM, the agency tasked with managing most of the horse populations, effectively preventing the agency from using many of the tools in their toolbox to reduce horse populations to appropriate management levels. The result is a legal stalemate causing wild horse numbers to continue rising to well beyond unsustainable levels, which is causing irreversible damage to public lands, range ecosystems, wildlife and horses competing in a hard and increasingly degraded landscape.
Director(s): Charles Post, Ben Masters
Producer(s): Phillip Baribeau