Eagle Roundup Day 31

Cumulative totals through 02-16-20, per the BLM roundup page for the Eagle Complex:

  • 1,385 animals gathered
  • 16 deaths (1.1%)
  • 623 studs (45.1%)
  • 757 mares (54.9%)
  • 5 new foals (2019 foals counted as adults)

The range between males and females is still outside of statistical limits corresponding to n = 1,380 and p-bar = .50.  The proportions or mares and studs don’t look like they came from a process that produces 50% of each.

The thriving ecological balance is now only 215 wild horses away (1,700 horses to be gathered − 100 to be returned − 1,385).

The forage allocated to livestock on the Eagle HMA, which represents about 88% of the Complex, would support over 2,000 wild horses, making the roundup unnecessary.

The government is probably spending around $1.5 million on the operation, which won’t increase the permitted AUMs, but it can lead to relaxation of AUM restrictions that were put in place because of the horses.

The incremental revenue will be no more than $26,000 per year (1,600 horses removed × 12 months per year × $1.35 per AUM).

Most of the horses won’t be adopted and will end up in long-term pastures at a cost of $1.2 million per year.

It’s absolutely nuts—the trouble and expense incurred by the government to prop up the public-lands ranchers.  There is no economic benefit, no payout and no rate of return.

“Hey WHW, why do you say no economic benefit?  These roundups create jobs for helicopter pilots, mechanics, wranglers, truck drivers and office personnel.”

Well, that may be true, but economic activity generated by government programs is always offset by a reduction in activity of those from whom the money is confiscated.

That would be you.

The wild horse ‘problem’ arises from government policy—its insistence on giving more and more resources to the public-lands ranchers, on territory set aside for the horses.

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Photo: Studs from the Eagle Complex at Palomino Valley off-range corrals, 02-08-20.

RELATED: Eagle Roundup Day 28, Eagle Wild Horses Get Short End of Stick.

Rock Springs AML Amendments

The post about the four HMAs affected by the Rock Springs RMP amendment indicated that over 13,000 wild horses had been denied a place on their home range because of privately owned livestock.  How would that number be apportioned if the livestock were removed and the forage reassigned to the horses?

On the Adobe Town HMA, 29,412 AUMs per year consigned to livestock, which would support 2,451 horses (29,412 ÷ 12), for a new AML of 3,251 (800 + 2,451).

On the Divide Basin HMA, 35,914 AUMs per year consigned to livestock, which would support 2,993 horses (35,914 ÷ 12), for a new AML of 3,593 (600 + 2,993).

On the Salt Wells Creek HMA, 59,592 AUMs per year consigned to livestock, which would support 4,966 horses (59,592 ÷ 12), for a new AML of 5,331 (365 + 4,966).

On the White Mountain HMA, 34,588 AUMs per year consigned to livestock, which would support 2,882 horses (34,588 ÷ 12), for a new AML of 3,182 (300 + 2,882).

Are you surprised that AMLs could be this large?  Now do you understand why the government is warehousing so many wild horses, ramping up its outplacement programs, and shifting its messaging to ‘Off the Range?’

Draft Management Plan for Heber WHT Released

Today the Forest Service released a draft management plan for the Heber WHT, marking the beginning of a 30-day comment period, according to a story posted this morning by the White Mountain Independent of Show Low, AZ.

The WHT covers approximately 19,700 acres and the proposed AML is 50 to 104, for an aimed-at stocking rate of 5.3 horses per thousand acres.  The rationale for setting the AML is presented in this document.

The WHT intersects two grazing allotments.  Data in Table 11 of the rationale document suggest that the horses will receive twice as much forage as livestock and that the WHT might be managed primarily for horses.

Substantive comments can be submitted at this page.

An initial comment might involve document quality.  The files appear to be scanned images of the originals and are not searchable.