Horses in Antelope Complex Get Short End of Stick

The Antelope Complex in eastern Nevada includes the Antelope HMA, Antelope Valley HMA, Goshute HMA and the infamous Spruce-Pequop HMA, site of a wild horse shooting in August 2018.

A roundup begins this week at the Antelope and Antelope Valley HMAs so let’s see how resources will be allocated once the gather plan has been fully implemented.

The ranchers and their allies want AMLs achieved ASAP, you know.

The complex, which covers 1,183,340 acres, has a combined AML of 789 wild horses, according to Table 1.  The forage demand would be 9,468 AUMs per year and the target population density would be 0.7 animals per thousand acres.

The average density for all HMAs is one animal per thousand acres.

The four HMAs are overlapped by 31 grazing allotments per Table 8.  The forage allocation for livestock inside the complex can be estimated as the sum of 31 AUM fractions, each based on the percentage of the allotment falling inside the complex.

For example, the Boone Springs allotment, which is permitted for 2,947 AUMs per year, lies entirely within the complex.  Therefore, it contributes 2,947 AUMs per year to domestic livestock grazing.  Only 5% of the Cherry Creek allotment falls within the complex, so it contributes just 454 AUMs per year to privately owned livestock.

The total forage contribution is 72,946 AUMs per year.

The AUM fractions can be converted to cow/calf pairs by dividing them by the annual grazing periods.  The Boone Springs allotment is active for five months.  Therefore, it can accommodate 2,947 ÷ 5 = 589 cow/calf pairs.  The Cherry Creek allotment, active for 12 months per year, can host 38 cow/calf pairs.  (Wild horses and cow/calf pairs are said to be equivalent in terms of their resource loading.)

The total number of cow/calf pairs is 10,429, which yields a planned population density of 8.8 cow/calf pairs per thousand acres.  (The weighted-average grazing period across all 31 allotments is 7 months per year.)

These figures are presented in the following charts.

Antelope Complex Charts-1

Another fine example of ‘thriving ecological balance,’ on land set aside for the horses!

A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), one of the steps in approving plans like this one, must pertain to everything but wild horses.

The forage allocated to livestock in those 31 allotments, 124,466 AUMs per year (inside and outside the complex), would support 10,370 wild horses, about 1/8 of those roaming freely on public lands in the western U.S.

That these and other lands can only support 27,000 wild horses and burros is pure BS.

RELATED: Roundup Starts Next Week in Lower Half of Antelope Complex.

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