In the past few years the number of feral or free-roaming horses in Placitas has increased significantly. Last year it peaked at about 200 horses. The impact on the Placitas environment has been devastating. Wild grasses and other native plant communities have been severely degraded by overgrazing. Hoof-trampling has degraded hillsides and carved trails on fragile high-desert land. Soil erosion has increased. Public safety has been endangered by untended horses wandering on the roads, private property and the Placitas Open Space. Collisions with vehicles and horse aggression towards people on foot have occurred on several occasions.
This blog will address the complex issues related to the presence of free-roaming horses and hear from local residents who are trying to deal with the situation in a balanced way that supports land and wildlife sustainability. We hope this will provide the Placitas community with a fact-based perspective and give residents an opportunity to come to their own decisions on how to move forward in harmony with the land and our neighbors.
The blog’s contributors represent the diversity of Placitas residents: farmers, scientists, artists, builders, lawyers, naturalists, educators, and more. The styles will range from precise and professional to conversational and anecdotal. We hope it will inform and in some small way contribute to the healing so sorely needed in our community.