Thriving Ecological Balance at Desatoya HMA?

The management plan assigns 2,160 AUMs per year to wild horses at the upper end of the AML, per Section 1.2 of the Final EA for resource enforcement actions in the HMA.

Livestock receive 9,133 AUMs per year per Table 3-2 in the EA.  The forage available to livestock inside the HMA from the Porter Canyon allotment decreased from 6,352 AUMs per year in the Draft EA to 5,877 AUMs per year in the Final EA.

The total authorized forage in the HMA is 11,293 AUMs per year, neglecting wildlife.

That means the horses can consume up to 19% of their food.

The Proposed Action, authorized in yesterday’s Decision Record, will gather the HMA to the lower end of the AML and minimize growth rates thereafter with fertility controls and sex ratio skewing.

The remaining horses will need 1,524 AUMs per year, about 13% of the authorized forage, which is the long-term goal of the management plan.

Perhaps we should refer to it as a pest control plan, designed to protect the interests of the public-lands ranchers, not America’s wild horses.

The forage assigned to livestock would support an additional 761 horses for a True AML of 941.  The current population is thought to be around of 231.

If the HMA was managed principally for wild horses, per the original statute, there would be no need for a roundup or fertility control program.

RELATED: Desatoya Wild Horse Decision Record Signed.

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