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U.S. Department of the Interior announces plan to protect horses, boost eco
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has proposed an initiative to protect herds of wild horses in the western region of the country by creating an eco tourism attraction.
The department's Bureau of Land Management has announced a plan to develop a sustainable national wild horse and burro program, which would create sanctuaries for the animals in the eastern and Midwestern parts of the country.
Secretary Salazar presented the plan to address the overpopulation of wild horses in the western U.S. The animals, which were rapidly disappearing 30 years ago, flourished due to government protection and are now threatened by overgrazing, drought and wildfires.
Under Salazar's plan, non-reproducing wild horses would be placed on public rangelands with adequate resources, where tourists could come to see the creatures in their natural habitat.
Salazar also proposed the delegation of certain lands to "highlight the special qualities of America's wild horses while generating eco tourism for nearby rural communities," according to the Bureau of Land Management website.
Associates or bachelors degrees in eco tourism, sustainable management or green agriculture may help individuals find jobs in the conservation and forestry industries. The demand for specialists in these fields, where median salaries ranged from $40,950 to $68,460 in 2006, is expected to grow by 5 percent over the next seven years.