Madeleine Pickens' Saving America's Mustangs Foundation has proposed to build and establish an eco-sanctuary for wild horses. The mustangs are currently in holding facilities on Pickens' 14,000 acre Spruce Ranch and adjoining 4,000 acre Warm Creek Ranch in Nevada. The Bureau of Land Management has rejected the idea. BLM director Bob Abbey says Pickens' plan would not have saved taxpayer money, or provided enough water and forage to sustain the horses.
John Falen, president of the Public Lands Council says the problem of wild horse overpopulation is one that must be dealt with but creating a horse sanctuary will not solve the problem. Falen says wild horse overpopulation poses a threat not only to the health of the range, the rural economies and families making a living off the land, but also to the wild horses themselves.
The letter to BLM from the Public Lands Council points out that converting livestock Animal Unit Months or livestock grazing permits to single-use horse permits or sanctuaries for wild horses would violate the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934, thereby jeopardizing grazing permits and presenting opportunities for anti-grazing interests to push for more conversion of livestock allotments to other single-uses.