BLM said today that 283 wild horses will be gathered from the Silver King HMA, starting on or about February 5, due to overpopulation. Up to 25 mares will be treated with contraceptives and returned to the range, for a removal target of 258.
The operation will be carried out with helicopters, according to the news release, and will be open to public observation.
The last roundup ended in late 2018, with 996 horses removed.
The HMA covers 606,000 acres in eastern Nevada and has an AML of 128, for an aimed-at stocking rate of 0.2 wild horses per thousand acres. Refer to Table 1 in the Final EA for resource enforcement actions in the HMA.
The target stocking rate across all HMAs is one wild horse per thousand acres.
As previously discussed, fractional stocking rates may indicate large amounts of forage diverted to privately owned livestock.
The HMA intersects eight allotments, per Table 3.3 in the EA, with five of them offering year-round grazing. The Wilson Creek and Geyser Ranch allotments overlap the Eagle HMA to the east.
Cattle and sheep receive an estimated 24,000 AUMs per year inside the HMA, with just 1,500 AUMs per year assigned to the horses. The HMA is managed almost exclusively for livestock.
The forage allocated to livestock would support an additional 2,000 wild horses, for a True AML of 2,128. The current population of 343 wild horses is well within that range, making the roundup and fertility control program unnecessary.
Captured animals will be taken to the off-range corrals at Palomino Valley.
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