Earlier this week the Forest Service announced a proposed update of the management plan for wild horses at the Big Summit WHT, according to a report by KTVZ News of Bend, OR. The preferred option will reduce the AML from 55 – 65 to 12 – 57.
The WHT covers 25,434 acres in central Oregon. The current AML yields a stocking rate of 2.6 wild horses per thousand acres. The target rate across all areas managed for wild horses is one per thousand acres.
Management actions for controlling the herd size include gathers and contraceptives.
The management plan allocates 2,322 AUMs per year to livestock, compared to 780 AUMs per year for horses under the current AML. Refer to Table 21 in the draft EA.
The disparity will be greater under the preferred option, with 77% of the forage going to livestock and 23% to the horses. On land to be managed principally for the horses.