BLM announced today that 575 ‘excess’ wild horses would be removed by helicopter from the Pine Nut Mountains HMA beginning on or about February 6. The gather will be open to public observation and captured animals will be taken to the Palomino Valley Off-Range Corrals north of Sparks, NV, where they will be prepared for adoption.
Gather stats and daily reports will be posted to this page.
The HMA covers 104,316 acres in western Nevada and has an AML of 179, for an aimed-at population density of 1.7 animals per thousand acres. Forage consumption would amount to 2,200 AUMs annually.
The estimated population in early 2018 was 775 horses. A 20% growth rate would put the herd at roughly 900 horses today, for a population density of 8.6 animals per thousand acres.
Forage consumption would be 10,800 AUMs per year. Resource loading attributable to horses would be 0.1 AUM per acre per year.
Wild horses that interfere with ‘other mandated uses’ of the land are said to be ‘excess.’
Would those uses be recreation, mineral extraction and timber harvesting? No, they don’t require forage. What could the other uses be?
Livestock grazing. The Pine Nut HMA is subject to multiple grazing allotments.
To decide which species is consuming more than its fair share of the available resources, you’d need to know
- How many cattle and sheep are allowed on the HMA, or
- How many AUMs are allocated to livestock, and
- How many AUMs are set aside for wildlife
These figures never appear in the news releases.
Therefore, it must be the horses. Livestock are blameless, always.
RELATED: Livestock Grazing in Nevada.