The news release about the Onaqui rally said the horses receive between nine and fifteen percent of the resources on public lands, taken to mean nine to fifteen percent of the authorized forage in the HMA, with the balance is assigned to livestock. No other details were given.
Several questions come to mind:
- What is the total authorized forage?
- How many horses have been displaced by livestock?
- What is the True AML?
- How does that compare to the current population?
The AML ranges from 121 to 210, according to the HMA page, requiring 1,452 to 2,520 AUMs per year.
If the forage requirement at the low end of the AML is 9% of the total, then the authorized forage must be 1,452 ÷ .09 = 16,133 AUMs per year.
If the forage requirement at the high end of the AML is 15% of the total, then the authorized forage must be 2,520 ÷ .15 = 16,800 AUMs per year.
The two results are not identical but suggest the total is in the mid 16,000s so let’s assume it’s 16,500 AUMs per year, neglecting wildlife.
The forage assigned to livestock is 16,500 − 2,520 = 13,980 AUMs per year, which would support an additional 1,165 wild horses. That is, 1,165 wild horses have been displaced from the HMA by privately owned livestock.
The True AML is the horses allowed by plan plus the horses displaced by livestock, which is 210 + 1,165 = 1,375.
The current population is not known but is almost certainly less than 1,375. If there are no excess horses, there is no justification for a roundup and or fertility control program.
Why do the advocates want to dart the horses when the problem is domestic livestock?
RELATED: Onaqui Rally at State Capital.