The new chairman of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board acknowledges the citizen panel faces major challenges.
Veterinarian Boyd Spratling of the northeast Nevada community of Deeth says the board faces a complicated task of trying to balance the needs of the federally protected herds against competing interests while an ongoing drought and shrinking budgets limit their options.
At a board meeting in Reno last week, Spratling and other members discussed the latest research on reproductive drugs, vaccines and sterilization practices aimed at slowing the growth of horse herd populations that double naturally every five years if left unchecked.
The soaring cost of housing horses removed from the range has forced BLM to place more emphasis on population control and less on roundups.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.