How to Convert AUMs to Cow/Calf Pairs and Vice Versa

How many cow/calf pairs are needed to graze off 3,226 AUMs in 4.5 months?  Easy, just divide the available forage (AUMs) by the grazing season (months):

Cow/calf pairs = AUMs ÷ Grazing season

If you don’t know the grazing season, assume it’s six months.

To compute the annual forage requirement for a given number of cow/calf pairs, just reverse the math:

AUMs = Cow/calf pairs × Grazing season

Although wild horses and cow/calf pairs are said to be equivalent in terms of their forage consumption, their AUM budgets differ because of their grazing seasons.

RELATED: How to Convert AMLs to AUMs and Vice Versa.

Challis Wild Horses to Experience ‘Thriving Ecological Balance’

Section 4.2.2 in the environmental assessment for the roundup states that 15,794 AUMs per year have been allocated to thirteen livestock operators on seven allotments within the HMA.  The EA also states in section 1.1 that the AML is 185 – 253 wild horses.

The roundup, which starts next week, will bring the HMA to the low end of the AML, meaning that:

  • Wild horses will receive 2,220 AUMs per year
  • Livestock will receive seven times as much forage as the horses
  • The HMA could support an additional 1,316 horses
  • The AML represents 12% of the capacity of the land

There’s not enough forage to sustain the pre-gather population of 429 wild horses (5,148 AUMs per year), but there’s three times that amount for domestic livestock.

RELATED: Challis Herd to Be Thinned Next Month.

Fifteenmile Roundup Ends, No News Release

The operation no longer appears on the list of ongoing gathers.  The daily reports stopped on 10-25-19, with 607 horses gathered from the HMA.  Eleven deaths occurred and 95 animals were returned to their home range.

All but twelve horses were gathered, according to a footnote, suggesting that returned mares were to be treated with contraceptives, but that was not indicated in the reports.

RELATED: Fifteenmile Roundup Begins Mid Month.

Outside the Box

Much of the conversation recently about wild horses revolves around the ‘Path Forward’ and the $35 million down payment on the plan approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee in September.

But a report posted yesterday by Horse Network offers a new approach (new if you haven’t been reading these pages): Get some of the livestock off the range.

Yep, somebody tried to distinguish between cause and effect.  Somebody asked why the problem occurs.

There are real reasons and stated reasons.  You have cut through the obfuscation and propaganda.

Public-lands ranching drives the roundups and warehousing of wild horses.

You can’t have two competing interests trying to occupy the same territory, especially when the other side wants you wiped off the map.

What do you want to see on western rangelands?  Privately owned cattle and sheep or free-roaming horses and burros?

RELATED: The ‘Path Forward’ is Wrong.