McCullough Advocates Celebrate WHB50 by Getting Rid of Horses

Personnel with Friends of a Legacy, an advocacy group associated with the McCullough Peaks HMA in northwestern Wyoming, will be showing off their darting program at an event on July 2, according to an article by the Powell Tribune.

The HMA covers approximately 110,000 acres, according to Section 3.1 in a 2012 EA for resource enforcement actions in the area.

The current size is 120,000 acres, according to the HMA page, and the AML is 140, for a target stocking rate of 140 ÷ 120,000 × 1,000 = 1.2 wild horses per thousand acres.

The horses require 1,680 AUMs per year at the AML.

The HMA intersects five grazing allotments, listed in Section 3.2 of the EA.

McCullough Peaks Allotment Map 06-18-21

The Allotment Master report in RAS provides data for the allotments.

The forage assigned to livestock inside the HMA has increased slightly, compared to 2012.  All five allotments are in the Improve category.  Most of the active AUMs are held by the same permittee.

McCullough Peaks Allotment Data 06-18-21

The southwest corner of Red Point extends beyond the HMA boundary, taking with it small part of the forage in the allotment, assumed to be 100 AUMs per year.  The table above shows public acres only.

The total authorized forage inside the HMA, neglecting wildlife, is 1,680 + 6,196 – 100 = 7,776 AUMs per year.

The horses receive 1,680 ÷ 7,776 = 21.6% of that resource.  The HMA is managed primarily for livestock.

The forage assigned to livestock would support an additional (6,196 – 100) ÷ 12 = 508 wild horses, for a True AML of 140 + 508 = 648.

With 508 wild horses cheated out of a spot in their home range by privately owned livestock, why do the advocates want to get rid of more?  Is the current population greater than 648?

Why aren’t they demanding that the HMA be managed principally for wild horses, per the original statute?

The darting program ensures that the ranchers receive most of the resources—in an area set aside for wild horses.

Good work, guys.

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