Blue Wing Beef

The Rangeland Administrative System provides information for grazing allotments managed by the BLM.  Five reports are available.

Figure 2.8 in Appendix A of the Winnemucca District Resource Management Plan shows the Blue Wing – Seven Troughs allotment as #135.

You don’t have to sift through RMPs to find allotment numbers.  If you know the allotment name you can find useful information in RAS.

For example, Figure 4 in the Blue Wing Gather Plan shows the allotment names in and around the gather area.  NEPA projects for wild horse management actions are a bit easier to navigate than those for RMPs, which may involve complex environmental impact statements.

If you select Authorization Use by Allotment, you can specify the state, office and allotment name to start the search.  Right-click the link to open it in a new tab so the main page stays visible.

  • State: Nevada
  • Office: Humboldt River
  • Name: Blue Wing – Seven Troughs

Click Apply to run the report.  The system provides the results as a pdf file, which you can save to your device.  The allotment is grazed by four permittees, one for cattle and three for sheep.  The cattle permittee receives 14,062 AUMs per year over a twelve month grazing season.  That forage would support over 1,100 wild horses.

Go back to the main page and right-click on Allotment Information.

  • State: Nevada
  • District: Winnemucca
  • Office: Humboldt

Click OK to run the report.  Scroll down until you see Blue Wing/7 Troughs, fifth column from the left.  Click the Next 100 Rows icon () at the bottom of the list to see page 2.  The allotment is in the Improve category, which probably means that it’s not meeting one or more standards for rangeland health.

Go back to the main page and try Operator Information.  Right-click the link to open it in a new tab.

  • State: Nevada
  • District: Winnemucca
  • Office: Humboldt

Click OK to run the report.  The authorization number for the cattle permittee, from the first report, is 2702016.  Scroll down until you find it.  The operator is C-Punch Ranch Inc, a producer of range-fed beef.

The reports don’t say which permittee grazes what part of the 1,192,778 acre allotment, or where those pastures lie with respect to the HMAs and HAs in the Blue Wing Complex, so you don’t know exactly how the horses and burros have been impacted by cattle and sheep.

Given that the cattle permittee receives 69% of the authorized forage, based on data in the first report, most of them have likely been displaced from their home range by cattle.

RELATED: Selenite Wild Burro Roundup Starts Next Week.

Sagebrush Restoration Project Inching Ahead

Today BLM released the final Environmental Impact Statement for the fuels reduction and rangeland restoration project in the Great Basin.

The plan will address changes to sagebrush communities attributed to wildfires, the spread of invasive annual grasses and the encroachment of pinyon-juniper, according to the news release, using chemical and mechanical treatments, prescribed fires, seeding and targeted grazing.

BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs William Perry Pendley said the project will benefit those who depend on public lands in the Great Basin for their livelihoods and recreation.

RELATED: BLM Targets Invasive Species, Grazing Program Ancillaries.

Baby Pinyon Pine-1

‘Wild Horse Wars’ Refuted

A rebuttal on CounterPunch pushes back against the public-lands ranchers and the November 18 article by The Washington Post.

The viewpoints expressed in the column are those of its writer and are not necessarily those of Western Horse Watchers.

The rancher mentioned in the original piece appears in the following video by Protect the Harvest, which was filmed on “the cattlemen’s land,” according to the narrator.

RELATED: Wild Horse Wars on Drudge, Fish Creek Gather Delayed.

Selenite Wild Burro Roundup Starts Next Week

A story by the Elko Daily Free Press published on November 24 probably has details but Western Horse Watchers did not read it because of the stupid GoogleQuestion.  The title said it would occur near the Black Rock Desert, site of the Burning Man festival, so the Nevada gather page might be a better place to look.

The operation will begin on or around November 29, according to the Selenite gather page, and will be carried out with helicopters.  It will be open to public observation.

The incident has not been announced on the BLM news page as of today.  The NEPA project—on which the action is authorized—was not cited at the gather page but it is likely covered by the Blue Wing Gather Plan approved in 2017.

The Selenite Range HA is in the northwest corner of the massive Blue Wing – Seven Troughs allotment and is part of the Blue Wing Complex.  It contains 125,300 acres and has no AML, according to Table 1 of the Final EA.

Selenite HA Map

The gather target is 200, which is most, if not all, of the burros now living in the HA.

Captured animals will be taken to the off-range corrals at Palomino Valley.

Fifty six burros were removed from the HA in 2019, according to the gather page, but Western Horse Watchers was unable to find an announcement for that event.

PZP Amendment Omitted from Senate Spending Bill?

A few members of Congress are still clinging to the idea, according to a news release issued today by Animal Wellness Action, a lobbying group in Washington, DC.

The measure does nothing to change the resource allocations and management priorities that leave America’s wild horses and burros with crumbs, forcing their removal from public lands in favor of privately owned livestock.

RELATED: Op-Ed Pushes Contraceptives.

Op-Ed Pushes Contraceptives

There is hope, according to the writers of a guest column published yesterday in Horse Nation, not because the BLM has decided to change the resource allocations and management priorities on lands set aside for wild horses, but because Congress may force it to implement an $11 million darting campaign.

Do they not see that they’ve thrown in with the groups they criticize?  Do they really want HMAs managed primarily for livestock?  How many wild horse herds are truly overpopulated?

The Confusion HMA, subject of next week’s roundup, certainly isn’t.  Would they start the darting program there?  Before or after the roundup?

Next to the government and public-lands ranchers, the greatest threat to America’s wild horses is not the oil companies, not the mining companies, but many of the so-called advocacy groups.

RELATED: Why Should You Oppose Sterilization of Wild Mares?

Confusion Wild Horse Roundup Begins This Weekend

BLM announced today that 500 wild horses will be gathered from the HMA starting on November 29, due to overpopulation.  Approximately 480 horses will be removed, with a small group of mares returned to their home range after receiving “population growth suppression.”

The roundup—an enforcement action—will be carried out with helicopters, according to the news release, and will be open to public observation.

The HMA covers approximately 235,000 acres in western Utah and has an AML of 115.

The HMA intersects five allotments and is managed primarily for livestock.  The current population of 661 is well within the true AML of 932.

Captured animals will be taken to the off-range corrals in Axtell.

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

RELATED: Confusion Management Plan In the News.

Wild Horse Wars on Drudge

The link pointed to a copy of the story in the Houston Chronicle.

Wild Horse Wars on Drudge-1

The government spends $57 million per year to warehouse 52,000 wild horses and burros, according to a recent news release, so it can collect an estimated $850,000 in grazing fees from the ranchers to whom their food is sold.

Revenue = 52,000 horses × 12 AUMs per horse per year × $1.35 per AUM

With taxpayers making up the difference, the grazing program is a fine example of redistribution of wealth.  That’s what Protect the Harvest is trying to protect.

RELATED: Wild Horse Wars?, Grazing Program Ancillaries.

Gathers and Removals: Horse Poop Edition

Corral cleaning is like leaf collection: You first have to gather the pieces into piles then transfer them into a container for removal.

The typical manure rake, on the right in the photos below, is made of plastic.  It’s designed for scooping not raking.  When you flip it over and use it as a rake, the tines break off, usually in the middle.  It’s a productivity killer.

Home Depot has a True Temper leaf rake made of metal that works great for gathering the poop into piles.  Only complaint is that the handle is a little short and made of metal.  In the winter it will pull the heat out of your hands if you’re not wearing gloves.

Price is $16.  It’s better and faster than a manure rake for horse poop roundups.

Hookover Bucket Installation

Duraflex buckets won’t work on pipe panels with rail spacings greater than ten inches.

The rails in the Powder River panel below are on 9-3/4″ centers.  Lugs under the hooks lift the bucket, so the lower edge barely contacts the rail.  The galvanized panel in the background has rails on 12″ centers.

The bucket tilts slightly when hooked over the panel, bringing the water level closer to the rim.  Holes for the mounting block should be within an inch from the rim.

The block in these photos is still clamped to the bucket and the brackets for the valve haven’t been secured to it, allowing the valve to slide toward the front of the bucket.

The hose was purchased at Home Depot.  The feed store used to carry them but not any more.  The hose should have 3/4″ male thread on one end, to connect to the float valve, and a 3/4″ female thread on the other, to connect to a standard hose bibb.

A washing machine hose won’t work.

Hookover Bucket Installation Concerns

RELATED: Hookover Bucket Mock-Up.

New Gather Plan for Nevada WHR Approved

BLM announced today the signing of a Decision Record authorizing certain wild horse management actions in the Nevada WHR over a ten-year period, subject to a 30-day appeal period.

The approved action (Alternative 1) features roundups, fertility control, sex ratio skewing and castration.  Refer to Section 2.1 in the EA.

The WHR is in the northern portion of the Nevada Test and Training Range, covering roughly 1.3 million acres of public lands withdrawn for military use.  As such, there is no public access to the area, including hunting, camping and livestock grazing.

The DR and EA were combined into one file and posted with other project documents.

RELATED: Comments Invited on Draft EA for Nevada WHR Roundups.