Stepping Stones

Which came first…legalized abortion or contraception?  Contraception, in 1960.  Abortion, legalized in 1973, may have been the goal, but it had to be justified.  Get the people accustomed to contraception.  Observe that it sometimes fails.  Then point to the need for abortion.

One hundred years ago, most people would have gasped at the idea of contraception.

Today, the idea is so widely accepted that it’s even applied to wild horses.

A few years from now, you’ll hear complaints that it’s too expensive, too difficult to administer and doesn’t provide a lasting solution (to the wild horse ‘problem’).  An argument will be made that ‘excess’ animals must be sterilized or euthanized.

At that point, our wild ones will be finished, and you can thank the PZP zealots, most of whom are women.

Nine Point Four

More evidence of overpopulation on the Virginia Range, an area with a stocking rate ten times higher than your average HMA in Nevada, 9.4 horses per thousand acres vs. 0.84 horses (plus a few burros) per thousand acres on HMAs.  Photo taken 04/15/18.

Critics argue that the range can’t support these numbers.

Don’t be fooled, they’re not trying to protect the land, they’re trying to protect a narrative.


Principally But Not Exclusively

Public lands inhabited by wild horses and burros in 1971, when the WHB Act was signed into law, are devoted primarily to WHB, right?

Nope, not according to the BLM.  Only three areas in the western U.S. are managed principally for horses and one for burros.


Listen carefully to the remarks from 0:05:30 to 0:06:12 in the presentation by John Ruhs, State Director for BLM in Nevada, at this post.  The areas of interest, unnamed in the video, are (1) Pryor Mountains Wild Horse Range, (2) Nevada Wild Horse Range, (3) Little Bookcliffs Wild Horse Area and (4) Marietta Wild Burro Range.

Note that all four are listed as HMAs.  Little Bookcliffs is referred to as an Area, while the other three are called Ranges.

You have HMAs, you have Ranges, you have Areas.  HMAs can be upgraded to Ranges if the Director of the BLM so designates.  Only in such cases do the benefits of ‘principally but not exclusively’ apply.

Is that what Congress intended in 1971?

Stocking rates for these areas (based on upper values of AMLs):

  • Pryor Mountains WH Range: 317 acres per horse (3.2 horses per thousand acres)
  • Nevada WH Range: 2603 acres per horse (0.38 horses per thousand acres)
  • Little Bookcliffs WH Area: 240 acres per horse (4.2 horses per thousand acres)
  • Marietta WB Range: 620 acres per burro (1.6 burros per thousand acres)

The Nevada WH Range is part of Nellis Air Force Base.  Principal use is weapons development and flight training, no public access.

H/T Wild Horse Education.

Are There Any Wild Burros in Nevada?

Yep, you can find them here:

Managed for Burros Only

Managed for Horses and Burros

The stocking rate on some of these HMAs is so low that the probability of actually seeing a horse or burro is small.  Best chance might be on the Blue Wing Mountains and Warm Springs Canyon HMAs, with stocking rates of 3.6 and 2.2 animals per thousand acres respectively (based on the upper range of the AMLs).

In the burros-only category, Marietta Wild Burro Range is best, with a stocking rate of 1.6 animals per thousand acres.

In addition to the Marietta burros, this video gives you a nice view of the Nevada high desert.