Stinkingwater Roundup Starts in Two Weeks

The incident was set to begin on August 1, according to the schedule, but has been delayed two weeks, according to the gather page.  An announcement has not appeared at the BLM news site.

Horses will be pushed into the traps by helicopters and the operation will be open to public observation.

The capture goal is 420.  Approximately 30 will be returned to the range, including mares treated with contraceptives, putting the removal goal at 390.

The HMA covers 78,000 acres east of Burns, OR and has an AML of 80.

The aimed-at stocking rate is one wild horse per thousand acres, in line with the target rate across all HMAs.

The horses allowed by plan require 80 × 12 = 960 AUMs per year.

The current population is thought to be around 450, including foals.  How does that figure compare to the True AML, which must be determined by calculation?  This is where the advocates go off the rails.

Stinkingwater HMA Map 07-30-21

The authorizing project can be found in ePlanning.

  • State: Oregon/Washington
  • Program: Wild Horses and Burros
  • Clear the Show Only Active Projects checkbox
  • Hit Search

Go through the list one page at a time until you see Stinkingwater.  Two projects appear, one from 2010 and another from 2017.  Click the link for 2017, Stinkingwater HMA Population Management Plan.

Click the Documents link on the left.  The Final EA is near the bottom of the list.

A keyword search for AUM eventually brings you to Table 3-4, which shows three grazing allotments associated with the HMA.

Current data for the allotments, including active AUMs, permittees, grazing seasons and management status (Improve/Maintain/Custodial) can be found in RAS, using the Allotment Master and Authorization Use reports.  The project home page tells you they’re in the Three Rivers Field Office.

The forage allocations in Table 3-4 sum to 8,455 AUMs per year, compared to 960 AUMs per year for the horses.  An estimated 8,455 ÷ 12 = 704 wild horses have been displaced from the HMA by privately owned livestock.

Calculation of the True AML is beyond the scope of this post but here’s a first pass:

True AML = Horses allowed by plan + Horses displaced by livestock = 80 + 704 = 784

The HMA is not overpopulated, it is mismanaged.

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

Gather stats and daily reports will appear on the gather page.

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