What you say about the Tule Elk is true, but that doesn't take away from the fact that there are still people going to their congress person wanting to take more land that tule elk are on for grazing purposes. The numbers have come back up because they are being protected. But still, it is in small pockets.
The entity that controls predators is Wildlife Services, a federal agency that falls under U.S.D.A. Their purpose is to eliminate predators. An animal that has been reintroduced or protected is still a wild animal that belongs there. Those animals are part of the ecosystem and when removed, like in the past, has detrimental effects to the ecosystem. I don't think people should be getting paid for livestock lost to this. It's part of running your business where you chose to do so
. The only thing that I am trying to get at, as far as the horses are concerned, is that if predators were in place where they should be, a lot more feral horses would be eaten by them. Who knows, still maybe not enough, but I don't think that the numbers would be like they are now. Horses keep being removed, which in turn allows more horses to come to be. Yes, they would starve some years, and yes they would get sick, and if there were predators in place like there once were, they would be eaten. That is part of natures cull and to me that is fine. Nature has a better way of culling than a human would ever think to have. As of now, most of the robust, beautiful mustangs are in someones paddock, the crappy ones are out one the range or in holding lots. Even now, our selection is selfish.
As far as cheatgrass, you are right, I misunderstood what I was reading. The cheatgrass was introduced accidentally in packing material but the spread was from grazing too much on range lands and it reproduces easily on disturbed soil. Soil is disturbed by the hooves of too many grazing animals, so it spreads.
They are now coming up with a bacteria that will eliminate cheatgrass and madussa grass that will not remain in the soil forever. Apparently, it does not affect native plants so this will give the natives a chance to regrow. The only problem is that it doesn't happen over night.
We can't do anything that has happened in the past, but we can learn by it and realize what we have done and stop doing it. I'm all for eliminating the surplus of wild horses in a humane way. I don't see sending them to slaughter as humane. It's not the slaughter that bothers me, it the road there that does. It cost too much money to be nice and take care of the animal before it is killed. I'd rather see them all shot and buried so no one profits from it. Horse meat is big business so I don't see people doing this as a one time deal and I don't see people not taking advantage if laws were put into place to allow them to go to slaughter. And that is the track record of humans for the most part. They have already allowed people to buy the horses in numbers and have gone to slaughter for profit. I don't think that anyone disagrees that there is a problem. What can't be agreed upon is the solution.
Am not saying that all ranchers don't care about the land or the wildlife but some do behave that way. I am not saying that that cows and sheep are the only problem and that they should all be eliminated either. As people, we are who we are, and some of us do need laws to be forced to do the right thing otherwise we wouldn't. This is unfortunate because the people who actually do care and do the right thing suffer because of it.