Blue Wing Overview

Figure 4, supplied with the Final EA for wild horse and burro management actions in the Blue Wing Complex, shows the five HMAs assigned thereto.  All lie within the Blue Wing-Seven Troughs Allotment.  The allotment also contains portions of several HAs.

The map appearing on BLM’s livestock grazing page for Nevada shows the size of the allotment compared to others in the state.

Blue Wing Allotment Map-1

State Route 447, which runs north from I-80 on the west side of the allotment, takes you to Gerlach, a hopping-off point for those attending the Burning Man festival.  The event is held on the Black Rock playa, north of the allotment.

Blue Wing Complex Map With Dot-1

The road originates in Wadsworth, home of the Double Lazy Heart Ranch where Charlie and Velma lived.

Free-roaming horses and burros are found in the Blue Wing HMAs.

There are currently around 200 burros on Shawave Mountains but they will be rounded up starting next week.

The total land and forage assigned to horses and burros within the allotment can be computed from HMA data.

Blue Wing HMA Calcs-1

Table 11 in the Final EA shows 32,228 AUMs per year assigned to livestock, so the total authorized forage in the allotment is 7,176 + 32,228 = 39,404 AUMs per year, excluding wildlife.  The size of the allotment is 1,376,287 acres per Table 9.

The HMAs cover 46% of the allotment (634,391 ÷ 1,376,287) but the horses and burros receive only 18% of the total forage (7,176 ÷ 39,404).

If horses replaced the burros (one for two), the forage on the five HMAs would support 598 of them.  The overall stocking rate would be 598 ÷ 634,391 × 1,000 = 0.9 horses per thousand acres, slightly below the average rate of one wild horse per thousand acres across all HMAs.

The forage assigned to livestock would support 2,686 cow/calf pairs, given a 12 month grazing season (11 months per year inside the HMAs per Section 3.2.11 of the EA but omitted for simplicity).  The stocking rate would be two cow/calf pairs per thousand acres (2,686 ÷ 1,376,287 × 1,000).

The total authorized forage would support 3,284 wild horses (or cow/calf pairs), with a stocking rate of 2.4 per thousand acres.  This value, lower than expected, may be due to the full-year grazing periods, limited resources compared to other areas, or the safety factor applied to resource allocations relative to their availability.

The Blue Wing Decision Record approved Alternative B, described in Section 2.4 of the EA, which will achieve and maintain AMLs with multiple gathers and removals, fertility control and/or sterilization.

RELATED: Shawave Mountains Roundup Starts Next Week.

Where is the Virginia Range?

It’s the area in the following map bordered by Sparks, Patrick, Fernley, Silver Springs, Dayton, Carson City and back up to Sparks.

Virginia Range Map A-1

The Horse Spring Herd Area is on the eastern side.  The white patches represent private property.  The Pine Nut Mountains HMA is on the other side of Highway 50.

Most of the Virginia Range is in Storey County.  The horses are managed by the Nevada Department of Agriculture.

Best Way to End Roundups?

Get rid of the horses.

The FY 2021 spending bill approved by the House last week includes the $11 million PZP Amendment, an idea so good that even the Rolling Stones would support it.

Anybody who reads these pages knows that overpopulation is not the problem, but the big-name ‘advocacy’ groups are trying to convince you otherwise.

This article by Nevada Current, published yesterday, is just one example.

What you’re getting from these groups is capitulation to the ranching agenda, as seen in the disastrous ‘Path Forward.’

They’re trying to ensure that livestock operators receive seventy, eighty, ninety percent or more of the authorized forage on land set aside for wild horses.

Don’t give them a penny!

RELATED: House Passes PZP Amendment to FY 2021 Spending Bill.

Cattle and Horses

Shawave Mountains Roundup Starts Next Week

BLM announced today that 1,600 wild horses and 200 wild burros will be removed from the Shawave Mountains HMA beginning on or about August 3, due to overpopulation.

The operation will be carried out with helicopters, according to the news release, and will be open to public observation.

The HMA covers 177,202 acres in northwestern Nevada.  The AML is 136 wild horses and zero wild burros.  The aimed-at stocking rate is 0.8 wild horses per thousand acres.

The HMA is managed with four others as a part of the Blue Wing Complex, per Section 1.1 in the Final EA for wild horse and burro management actions in the area.

Blue Wing Complex Map-1

The map in Figure 4 indicates the HMA lies within the massive Blue Wing-Seven Troughs allotment.  The forage allocated to livestock inside the HMA is not known at this time.  The horses allowed by plan require 1,632 AUMs per year with no forage allocated to burros.

The current population was estimated to be 1,722 horses and 160 burros, not including this year’s foal crop.  They may have exceeded the authorized resources in the area.

Horses removed from the HMA will be taken to the off-range corrals in Fallon, NV and the burros will be shipped to the off-range corrals in Axtell, UT.

Mares returned to their home range will be treated with contraceptives.

Gather stats and daily reports will be posted to this page.

Montezuma Peak Emergency Roundup Starts This Week

BLM said today that approximately 50 wild horses and 25 wild burros will be removed from the Montezuma Peak HMA beginning July 29, due to insufficient water.

The operation will be carried out with bait traps, according to the news release, and will not be open to public observation.

The HMA covers 77,876 acres in southern Nevada.  The AML is 4 horses and 10 burros, equivalent to nine horses (4 + 10 ÷ 2).  The equivalent stocking rate would be 0.1 wild horses per thousand acres.


The announcement did not say if the HMA was subject to domestic livestock grazing.

The current population is 130 wild horses and 207 wild burros, excluding this year’s foal crop.  The equivalent wild horse population would be 130 + 207 ÷ 2 = 234.

A 20% growth rate would put the herd size at 234 × 1.2 = 281, with a forage demand of 281 × 12 = 3,372 AUMs per year.  The total authorized forage on the HMA is unknown.

Captured animals will be taken to the off-range corrals in Ridgecrest, CA.

Gather stats and daily reports will be posted to this page.

Letter Criticizes BLM Opinion Piece, Pushes PZP

There are four million permitted cattle and sheep on public lands in the western U.S., according to the writer of a letter to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, compared to 81,000 wild horses, but the horses need to be managed with PZP.

After all, it’s been used for 30 years.

Where?  Assateague Island.  Many wild horse ‘advocates’ point to the area as a paragon of wild horse management but the results have been disastrous.

RELATED: BLM Opinion Piece Acclaims ‘Path Forward,’ Ignores Livestock.