Evidence suggests that horse populations are growing by 15 to 20 percent each year, a level that is unsustainable for maintaining healthy horse populations as well as healthy ecosystems. Promising fertility-control methods are available to help limit this population growth, however. In addition, science-based methods exist for improving population estimates, predicting the effects of management practices in order to maintain genetically diverse, healthy populations, and estimating the productivity of rangelands. Greater transparency in how science-based methods are used to inform management decisions may help increase public confidence in the Wild Horse and Burro Program.
The issues Thomas dealt with in office and noted in his journals lie at the heart of recent Forest Service policy and controversy, starting with President Clinton�s Timber Summit in Portland, Oregon, dealing with the spotted owl issue, and the 1994 loss of fourteen firefighters in the Storm King Mountain fire in Colorado. Against a constant backdrop of partisan politics in the White House and Congress, Thomas discusses issues ranging from grazing in the national forests, long-term pulp timber sales in Alaska, and the Forest Service Law Enforcement Division to the New World Mine near Yellowstone National Park. He considers the timber salvage rider and its linkage to forest health, the Department of Justice and Counsel on Environmental Quality influence on Forest Service policies, and interagency management for the Columbia River Basin.
Woven throughout these excerpts from his diary is Thomas�s conviction that the effective, ethical management of wildlife depends on how the management effort is situated within the broader human context, with all its intransigence and unpredictability. Writing in 1995, Thomas says, "Things simply don�t work the way that students are taught in natural resources policy classes--not even close. . . .There is simply no way that scholars of the subject can understand the ad hoc processes that go on within only loosely defined boundaries.� Wildlife management, he says, is "90 percent about people and 10 percent about animals," and when it comes to learning about people, wildlife managers are on their own. This book is the record of how one man met that challenge.
At the milestone of their 70th year of service to the nation, the National Research Council's (NRC) Committee on Animal Nutrition (CAN) sought to gain a better understanding of the magnitude of recent discoveries and directions in animal nutrition for the new century we are embarking upon. With financial support from the NRC, the committee was able to organize and host a symposium that featured scientists from many backgrounds who were asked to share their ideas about the potential of animal nutrition to address current problems and future challenges.