South Steens Roundup Day 3

The incident started September 21.  Gather stats through September 23:

  • Horses captured: 41
  • Goal: 200
  • Deaths: 0
  • Shipped: 41

To date, four studs have been captured, along with 28 mares and nine foals.  Foals accounted for 22% of the total and mares outnumber studs seven to one.

Low-information advocates will not see any problems in these data.

Body condition scores were not provided.  No horses are being held on site.

RELATED: South Steens Roundup Starts Next Week.

WHBAB Day 1: Get Rid of the Horses with PZP not Helicopters!

Accordingly,

  • Continue managing HMAs primarily for livestock
  • Keep AMLs low to keep excess horses high, fueling the overpopulation myth
  • Forget about Velma Johnston and the original WHB Act
  • Don’t talk about public-lands ranching
  • Don’t look at the numbers

In the public comments, a representative of AWHC violated the fourth and fifth bullet points by suggesting that tens of thousands of wild horses could be returned to the range by removing a small percentage of privately owned livestock from public lands.

She was right.  Western Horse Watchers estimates that 108,000 wild horses and burros could be returned to their home range by removing livestock from lands that can only support 27,000 of them, enough to empty all of the off-range corrals and pastures twice.

RELATED: WHBAB Meeting Tomorrow.

Community College to Foster Jicarilla Wild Horses

Mesalands Community College of Tucumcari, NM will enter into a partnership with the Forest Service to foster Jicarilla wild horses for adoption and use them to bolster the college’s farrier and animal science programs, according to a report posted this morning by the Quay County Sun.

A rancher and board member interviewed for the story supported the idea, noting that wild horses tend to overgraze the land if their numbers grow too large, but did not indicate if his livestock compete with the horses for food and water.

Diamond Roundup Day 13

Gather stats through September 22:

  • Horses captured: 963
  • Goal: 1,225
  • Deaths: 25
  • Shipped: 899

Four deaths occurred on Day 11, due to pre-existing conditions, and none since.

The incident started on September 10.

Foals represented 18.4% of the total.  Body condition scores were not provided.

The contractor is holding 39 horses on site.  Sixty will be returned to the Complex, including 30 mares treated with contraceptives.

You could argue that all of the deaths are related to the roundup because none of them would have happened if the roundup didn’t occur.  That puts the death rate at 2.6%.

RELATED: Diamond Roundup Day 10Diamond Wild Horses Get Short End of Stick.

Red Desert Horses Get Short End of Stick?

Probably, but it’s going to be hard to show because the data in Table 5 of the Final EA for wild horse management actions in the Complex are incomplete.  The five HMAs intersect seven allotments, according to Table 5, but the percentages of the allotments falling inside the HMAs were not given.

For example, the Cyclone Rim allotment covers almost all of the Lost Creek HMA and part of the Antelope Hills HMA, but how much of it falls inside Lost Creek?  What would you guess?  Maybe 80 percent?

Red Desert Allotments-1

Looks like the Stewart Creek HMA is 100% inside the Stewart Creek allotment (shown in white) but how much of the allotment falls inside the HMA?  Maybe 95%?

Reports involving forage allocations within the Complex will have to be based on eyeball estimates like these.

Bonus Question: Can you spot the five HMAs on the Wyoming allotment map?  Be sure to zoom in, it has excellent detail.

RELATED: Red Desert Gather, Part 2, Starts Next Month.

Devil’s Garden Roundup Day 13

Gather stats through September 21:

  • Horses captured: 276
  • Goal: 500
  • Deaths: Not reported
  • Shipped: Not reported

Twenty one horses were captured on Day 12 and 25 on Day 13.  The total number of foals gathered and the number of horses held on site are not known.

Body condition scores were not provided.

The incident started on September 9.

Helicopters will be grounded today for maintenance.

Daily reports are posted here.

RELATED: Devil’s Garden Roundup Day 11.

Journey to Little Bookcliffs

Although threatened by the Pine Gulch Fire, it’s now open for business and was recently visited by a lone reporter who wrote this story for The Daily Sentinel.

The Little Bookcliffs WHR, near Grand Junction, CO, is one of three areas in the western U.S. that’s managed primarily for wild horses.

The stocking rate allowed by plan is 4.2 wild horses per thousand acres, compared to an average of one wild horse per thousand acres across all HMAs.

Devil’s Garden Roundup Day 11

Gather stats through September 19:

  • Horses captured: 230
  • Goal: 500
  • Deaths: Not reported
  • Shipped: Not reported

Helicopters were grounded on Day 10 due to high winds.  One death occurred on Day 11 when a stud ran into a gate.  You could argue that deaths attributed to pre-existing conditions are actually related to the roundup, because those horses would likely be alive if the operation was scrubbed.

The total number of deaths and number of foals captured are not known.  The number of horses held on site is not known.

Body condition scores were not provided.

The incident started on September 9.  The longer it takes to achieve AML the more the poor ranchers will suffer, with some having to pay (OMG) market rates to feed their animals on rented pastures.

The daily reports are posted here.

RELATED: Devil’s Garden Roundup Day 9.

Diamond Roundup Day 10

Gather stats through September 19:

  • Horses captured: 856
  • Goal: 1,225
  • Deaths: 21
  • Shipped: 744

Two deaths occurred on Day 9 and three on Day 10, all due to pre-existing conditions.

The incident started on September 10.

Foals represented 19.3% of the total.  Body condition scores were not provided.

The contractor is holding 91 horses on site.  Sixty will be returned to the Complex, including 30 mares treated with contraceptives.

The herd is now less than half of its pre-gather size and well below the true AML of 1,706.  The number of excess horses in the Complex dropped to zero after Day 1.

RELATED: Diamond Roundup Day 8Diamond Wild Horses Get Short End of Stick.

Thriving Ecological Balance-3

South Steens Wild Horses Get Short End of Stick

A recent wild horse video from the South Steens HMA ends with this remark:

Ask lawmakers to manage wild horses and burros naturally IN THE WILD with minimally invasive tools: The least invasive, least deadly, least costly—wild mare contraception So we can continue to follow their wild journeys and maintain genetic health and diversity as Nature intends

Stalking wild horses with darting rifles is not what nature intends.  Picking and choosing who will have offspring is not what nature intends.  Sterilization, abscesses, declining herd sizes and abnormal sex ratios, with continued effects years after the treatments are stopped, are not what nature intends.

Managing HMAs primarily for livestock is not what Velma intended.

The HMA covers 134,491 acres in southeastern Oregon and has an AML of 304.

The horses allowed by plan require 3,648 AUMs per year.  The stocking rate allowed by plan is 2.3 horses per thousand acres.

The HMA intersects three grazing allotments.  Table 9 in the Final EA for wild horse management actions provides allotment sizes, grazing seasons and permitted AUMs.

Livestock numbers and forage requirements are based on cow/calf pairs, for a direct comparison to horses.  The resource requirements of wild horses and cow/calf pairs are said to be equivalent.

South Steens HMA Calcs-1

The forage available to the Frazier Field permittee inside the HMA is .24 × 1,906 = 457 AUMs per year, assuming the resource is evenly distributed across the parcel.  The other forage amounts were computed the same way.  The total estimated forage available to livestock inside the HMA is 10,299 AUMs per year, compared to 3,648 AUMs per year for the horses.

The Frazier Field permittee would have to place 76 cow/calf pairs inside the HMA to graze off 457 AUMs in six months (457 ÷ 6).  The total estimated number of cow/calf pairs allowed by plan inside the HMA is 1,482, compared to 304 horses.  The weighted average grazing season is 6.9 months per year (10,299 ÷ 1,482).

The total estimated land available to livestock inside the HMA is 106,040 acres, computed the same way as forage.  Approximately 79% of the HMA is subject to permitted livestock grazing.

The stocking rate allowed by plan is 14 cow/calf pairs per thousand acres (1,482 ÷ 106,040 × 1,000), compared to 2.3 wild horses per thousand acres.

These management indicators are presented in the following charts.

South Steens HMA Charts-1

The HMA is managed primarily for livestock, with the horses receiving just 26% of the authorized forage.

The current population, thought to be 1,179, yields a stocking rate of 8.8 wild horses per thousand acres.  If they are destroying their habitat at those numbers, what do suppose is happening when livestock are turned out at a rate that’s almost twice as high?

The forage allocated to livestock would support an additional 858 horses, for a true AML of 1,162.  That means there are currently 17 excess horses on the HMA, not much justification for a fertility control program.

The statement at the end of the video makes sense if you believe the overpopulation narrative and/or want these areas managed primarily for livestock.

RELATED: South Steens Roundup Starts Next Week.

Cattle and Horses

Devil’s Garden Roundup Day 9

Gather stats through September 17:

  • Horses captured: 195
  • Goal: 500
  • Deaths: Not reported
  • Shipped: Not reported

Foals accounted for 11.8% of the total.  The number of horses held on site is not known.

Body condition scores were not provided.

The operation started on September 9.  A breakdown of the results over the last week was included in today’s report.

The daily reports can be found here.

RELATED: Devil’s Garden Roundup Day 7.

Diamond Roundup Day 8

Gather stats through September 17:

  • Horses captured: 708
  • Goal: 1,225
  • Deaths: 16
  • Shipped: 561

Four deaths occurred on Day 7 and four on Day 8, all due to pre-existing conditions.

Another death on Day 8 was related to the roundup (broken neck).

The incident started on September 10.

Foals represented 18.5% of the total.  Body condition scores were not provided.

The contractor is holding 131 horses on site.  Sixty will be returned to the Complex, including 30 mares treated with contraceptives.

Roundups are not a sign of too many horses, they are a sign of too many livestock.

RELATED: Diamond Roundup Day 6Diamond Wild Horses Get Short End of Stick.