Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Song of the Week: "Wild Horses," for the BLM (literally)

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No one story dominated our news here at Pacific Swell. But I read a pretty great profile of Joan Guilfoyle, the Bureau of Land Management's new chief of wild horses and burros, by Greenwire's Phil Taylor. Guilfoyle's the one tasked with figuring out how to cull about a third of the wild horse herd from public lands in the west.

So this week's unusually on-the-nose song of the week is "Wild Horses," the Rolling Stones' tune.

Except I picked the Guns n'Roses version from the live recording in Tokyo. Sometimes GNR crazily gets things right, as in this case, which is mostly instrumental. My least favorite part of the song are the verses; the melody's the haunting part. Gilby Clarke's intricate guitar work carries that most of the way, and one chorus reprise from Axl never harmed anyone. 

Wild horses couldn't drag me away 

Wild, wild horses, couldn't drag me away

Round-ups make herds smaller, but cost the government money it says it doesn't have, and raise questions about animal cruelty. A study about the science of herd size isn't due out for a couple of years ago. Some of these horses are in California, and the BLM says when the herd's the right size it'll be 1746 horses and 453 burros.

(We've also got private adoptive services auxiliary to the BLM.)

"The horse herds in California consist mostly of released Spanish stock and cavalry mounts from World War I." Think of that!

Listen to all the Songs of the Week here.