One if by Helicopter, Two if by Trap

The dispute between advocates and the BLM continues, regarding the disposition of wild horses in the Pine Nut HMA / Fish Springs HA near Carson City, NV.  WHB Specialist John Axtell said the BLM prefers to bait-trap the animals but will use helicopters if advocates “get in the way.”

Refer to the story posted yesterday by Nevada Appeal.  Every photo therein shows the horses behind fences.  Why is that?  To keep them away from busy roads?  Or away from food and water (that belongs to, ahem, cough-cough, livestock)?

The horses are no longer self-reliant.

Those in the photos look fine.  Presumably, the photos were taken during the six-hour field trip and not pulled from a file.

The stated AML of 179 applies to the Pine Nut HMA.  Does the stated population of 775 horses correspond to the HMA or the HA?  Probably the latter.  There is no AML for herd areas.  The figures should be reported on a consistent basis.

Pine_Nut_Mountains_Map-2

Assuming the HA (red and blue borders in the map) is twice the size of the HMA (blue border), maybe a bit larger, the total available land is about 210,000 acres.  That gives a population density of 3.7 animals per thousand acres.

A few miles to the north, on the Virginia Range, the population density is 10 animals per thousand acres and the horses up there look good.  (Look at the photos posted on these pages since mid June.  Go to the index and scroll down to ‘Virginia Range.’)

RELATED: Opponents of Fish Springs Roundup Protest in Reno.

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