BLM said yesterday that it will remove more wild horses from the Antelope Valley and Goshute HMAs, starting on or about September 18. The stated reason for the gather is lack of water and forage on the range. Refer to this news release.
Bait traps will be used for the removals. The announcement did not indicate if the operations would be open to public inspection (probably not).
The HMAs are south of Wells, NV, near the Utah border.
The wild horse population at Antelope Valley is estimated to be 1,755 and that for Goshute is 1,429. These figures correspond to lands covered by the HMAs and those surrounding them where the horses have been observed.
The AML for Antelope Valley is 259 wild horses, while that for Goshute is 123. These figures pertain to lands within the HMAs only and therefore cannot be compared to the population estimates because they don’t have the same land-basis. They do not provide a rational basis for statements regarding overpopulation.
Captured animals will be taken to the Indian Lakes Off-Range Wild Horse and Burro Corrals in Fallon, NV, where they will be checked by a veterinarian and prepared for adoption. Almost certainly the system is flooded with all the horses removed from western rangelands in 2018. Who benefits from this?
Gather stats and daily reports can be found at this page.
The announcement stated that the horses were consuming water from a spring on private land. If this is a problem, why hasn’t the owner installed a fence? Or would a fence preclude access to the spring by other species (such as, ahem, cough-cough, livestock)?
Note that the BLM can bring water to the traps but not to the range. If an advocacy group stepped forward with a desire to haul water, would the horses be allowed to stay on the range?
Approximately 900 wild horses will lose their freedom forever as a result of these gathers, on top of those removed just a few weeks ago. Some may be adopted, most will either be sold (into questionable hands) or moved to off-range pastures.