The stocking rate allowed by plan is 0.5 wild horses per thousand acres. That should raise an eyebrow. The plan assigns 95% of the authorized forage on the HMA, omitting wildlife, to livestock, with the balance to horses.
It’s one of the best examples of mismanagement in the WHB program.
The pre-gather population of 131 horses is 2.6 times above AML, yet it represents just 13% of the carrying capacity of the land.
Unlike Swasey, which reached its capacity, the HMA is not overpopulated, at least not with horses, so what’s driving the roundup? What’s the rationale for contraceptives?
Could it be that the herd was approaching the minimum recommended size for genetic viability? Or might it be the attitudes, loyalties and beliefs of those who wrote and approved the management plan?
RELATED: Saylor Creek Roundup Pending.