Surprise Complex Roundup Day 3

The incident began on September 28.  Gather stats through September 30:

  • Type: Planned
  • Method: Helicopter
  • Horses captured: 307
  • Average daily take: 102.3
  • Capture goal: 1,220
  • Removal goal: 1,050
  • Returned: 15
  • Deaths: 6
  • Shipped: 155

Two horses died during the first three days and four were put down due to pre-existing conditions, yielding a death rate of 2.0%.

The daily breakdowns between stallions, mares and foals were not provided.

Body condition scores are not known.

Fifteen stallions were released on Day 3.

Six HMAs are involved in the roundup.

Day 3 ended with 131 unaccounted-for animals.

Other statistics:

  • AML: 496
  • Forage assigned to horses: 5,952 AUMs per year
  • Pre-gather population: 1,300
  • Forage liberated to date: 3,504 AUMs per year
  • Water liberated to date: 2,920 gallons per day
  • Forage assigned to livestock: Unknown
  • Horses displaced from Complex by livestock: Unknown
  • True AML: Unknown

RELATED: Roundup in Progress at Surprise Complex.

Devil’s Garden Roundup Day 14

The incident began on September 16.  Reports covering activity through September 29 have been posted to the Modoc news page:

  • Type: Planned
  • Method: Helicopter
  • Horses captured: 229, up from 173 on Day 12
  • Average daily take: 16.4
  • Capture goal: 600
  • Removal goal: 600
  • Returned: 1
  • Deaths: Unknown
  • Shipped: Unknown

Foals represented 12.7% of the horses captured.  Of the adults, 50.5% were males and 49.5% were female.

The number of deaths and number of animals shipped have not been reported.

Body condition scores were not provided.

The number of unaccounted-for animals cannot be determined.

Other statistics:

  • AML: 402
  • Forage assigned to horses: 4,824 AUMs per year
  • Pre-gather population: 1,926
  • Forage liberated to date: 2,736 AUMs per year
  • Water liberated to date:2,280 gallons per day
  • Forage assigned to livestock: 15,711 AUMs per year (estimated)
  • Horses displaced from WHT by livestock: 1,309 (2.6% of off-range holding)
  • True AML: 1,711

RELATED: Devil’s Garden Roundup Day 12.

Draft EA for Spring Mountains Complex Out for Review

Yesterday marked the beginning of a 30-day comment period on a new environmental assessment for wild horse and burro management in the Spring Mountains Complex, west of Las Vegas, NV.

The Complex includes lands managed by the USFS and BLM, and consists of three Joint Management Areas, according to a BLM news release.  Map 1 in Appendix A of the EA shows the arrangement.

The Proposed Action would implement a Herd Management Area Plan that affirms the AMLs for the Red Rock and Spring Mountains / Wheeler Pass JMAs and increases the AML for the Johnnie JMA.  The current AMLs are shown in Table 1 of the EA, with the proposed AMLs in Table 3.

The Proposed Action features removal of excess animals, fertility control vaccines, surgical sterilization and sex ratio skewing.

The Complex consists of 784,326 acres of public lands, with 164,856 acres (21%) managed by the Forest Service and 619,470 acres (79%) controlled by the BLM.

The three JMAs, Red Rock, Johnnie and Spring Mountains / Wheeler Pass, cover 187,639 acres, 216,874 acres and 379,813 acres, respectively.

Spring Mountains Complex 09-30-21

The combined AMLs under the Proposed Action are 127 horses and 192 burros, with a total forage demand of 2,676 AUMs per year.  Table 3 yields 2,670 AUMs per year.

The proposed AMLs are equivalent to 223 wild horses, for an aimed-at stocking rate of 0.3 wild horses per thousand acres.  The average rate across all HMAs is one wild horse per thousand acres.

The Complex includes one grazing allotment, Wheeler Wash, according to the Western Watersheds map, with no active AUMs.

Comments will be accepted until October 29.

The EA was posted with other project documents at the Forest Service NEPA site.

Jackson Mountains Roundup Day 14, Killing Fields Edition

The incident began on September 15.  Gather stats through September 28:

  • Type: Emergency
  • Method: Helicopter
  • Horses captured: 488, up from 392 on Day 12
  • Average daily take: 34.9
  • Capture goal: 600
  • Removal goal: 600
  • Returned: 1, no change from Day 12
  • Deaths: 26, up from 18 on Day 12
  • Shipped: 390, up from 320 on Day 12

Four horses were put down on Day 13, followed by four more on Day 14, because they were malnourished.  The death rate is now 5.3%, up from 4.6% on Day 12.

All eight deaths were justified by IM 2021-007, Euthanasia of Wild Horses and Burros Related to Acts of Mercy, Health or Safety.

If they were on private property, they’d likely be confiscated by the sheriff and placed with a local rescue.  Not these, they are federally protected.

Foals represented 22.1% of the horses gathered.  Of the adults, 40.3% were stallions and 59.7% were mares, an assignably large gap between males and females.

Body condition scores were not provided.

Day 14 ended with 71 unaccounted-for animals.

Other statistics:

  • AML: 217
  • Forage assigned to horses: 2,604 AUMs per year
  • Pre-gather population: 1,018
  • Forage liberated to date: 5,844 AUMs per year
  • Water liberated to date: 4,870 gallons per day
  • Forage assigned to livestock: 7,394 AUMs per year (estimated)
  • Horses displaced from HMA by livestock: 616 (1.2% of off-range holding)
  • True AML: 833

RELATED: Jackson Mountains Roundup Day 12, Killing Fields Edition.

How Many Allotments Overlap Onaqui Mountain HMA?

The comment report for resource enforcement actions shows ten but the map by Western Watersheds shows twelve.

The HMA has been parted out for livestock grazing.

The doctrine of multiple use is a ruse.  It’s actually predominant use or principal use, for ranching interests.

Those who say there’s nothing we can do about it or we need to control their numbers with PZP are allies of the ranchers not the horses.  They are already whipped.

Onaqui Allotments 09-29-21

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Devil’s Garden Roundup Day 12

The incident began on September 16.  Reports covering activity through September 27 have been posted to the Modoc news page:

  • Type: Planned
  • Method: Helicopter
  • Horses captured: 173, up from 100 on Day 6
  • Average daily take: 14.4
  • Capture goal: 600
  • Removal goal: 600
  • Returned: 1, on Day 8
  • Deaths: Unknown
  • Shipped: Unknown

Gather activity did not occur yesterday due to weather.  One horse escaped from the traps on Day 8.

The daily reports are almost useless.  The number of deaths, cause of death and the number of animals shipped have not been provided.

The breakdown between stallions, mares and foals was not given for Days 9, 10 and 11.

On other days those figures had to be calculated from the cumulative totals.

Body condition scores were not provided.

The number of unaccounted-for animals cannot be determined.

Other statistics:

  • AML: 402
  • Forage assigned to horses: 4,824 AUMs per year
  • Pre-gather population: 1,926
  • Forage liberated to date: 2,064 AUMs per year
  • Water liberated to date: 1,720 gallons per day
  • Forage assigned to livestock: 15,711 AUMs per year (estimated)
  • Horses displaced from WHT by livestock: 1,309 (2.6% of off-range holding)
  • True AML: 1,711

RELATED: Devil’s Garden Roundup Day 6.

Jackson Mountains Roundup Day 12, Killing Fields Edition

The incident began on September 15.  Gather stats through September 26:

  • Type: Emergency
  • Method: Helicopter
  • Horses captured: 392, up from 346 on Day 10
  • Average daily take: 32.7
  • Capture goal: 600
  • Removal goal: 600
  • Returned: 1, no change from on Day 10
  • Deaths: 18, up from 12 on Day 10
  • Shipped: 320, up from 277 on Day 10

Six horses were put down on Day 11 due to pre-existing conditions, including four that were malnourished.  The death rate is now 4.6%, up from 3.5% on Day 10.

IM 2021-007, Euthanasia of Wild Horses and Burros Related to Acts of Mercy, Health or Safety, was cited as the rationale for the deaths.

Foals represented 23.5% of the horses gathered.  Of the adults, 38.3% were stallions and 61.7% were mares, an assignably large gap between males and females.

Body condition scores were not provided.

Day 12 ended with 53 unaccounted-for animals.

Other statistics:

  • AML: 217
  • Forage assigned to horses: 2,604 AUMs per year
  • Pre-gather population: 1,018
  • Forage liberated to date: 4,692 AUMs per year
  • Water liberated to date: 3,910 gallons per day
  • Forage assigned to livestock: 7,394 AUMs per year (estimated)
  • Horses displaced from HMA by livestock: 616 (1.2% of off-range holding)
  • True AML: 833

RELATED: Jackson Mountains Roundup Day 10.

Barren Valley Roundup Day 19

The incident began on September 8.  Gather stats through September 26:

  • Type: Emergency
  • Method: Helicopter
  • Horses captured: 1,032, up from 886 on Day 15
  • Average daily take: 54.3
  • Capture goal: 1,900
  • Removal goal: 1,900
  • Returned: 0
  • Deaths: 14, up from 11 on Day 15
  • Shipped: 965, up from 735 on Day 15

The cumulative total at the gather page is 1,023, with 962 shipped.

No horses were taken on Day 19.

One horse was euthanized on Day 16, another on Day 17 and a third on Day 19 due to pre-existing conditions.  The death rate is now 1.4%, up from 1.2% on Day 15.

Foals represented 21.0% of the horses gathered.  Of the adults, 46.0% were male and 54.0% were female.

Body condition scores ranged from 3 to 4.

The location of gather activity was not given.  Three HMAs are involved in the roundup.

Day 19 ended with 53 unaccounted-for animals.

Other statistics:

  • AML: 892 (total for three HMAs)
  • Forage assigned to horses: 10,704 AUMs per year
  • Pre-gather population: 2,500
  • Forage liberated to date: 12,384 AUMs per year
  • Water liberated to date: 10,320 gallons per day
  • Forage assigned to livestock: 27,011 AUMs per year (estimated)
  • Horses displaced from Complex by livestock: 2,258 (4.5% of off-range holding)
  • True AML: 3,150

RELATED: Barren Valley Roundup Day 15.

Map Shows Grazing Allotments, HMAs and WHTs

Western Watersheds Project released an interactive map last week that shows areas identified for livestock grazing relative to areas reserved for wild horses and burros.

No more guessing if an HMA or WHT is subject to permitted grazing!

See if you can find the Rock Springs HMAs in southwest Wyoming.  Table 8 in the Final EA for resource enforcement actions shows the HMAs and the allotments that overlap them.  Zoom in to see the boundaries.

Interactive Map Overview 09-27-21

One problem is the pop-up box that appears when you click on an allotment.  It may it hide the area you’re trying to view.  You can’t drag it out of the way so the workaround is to click on the eastern side of the parcel.

Interactive Map Zoomed In 09-27-21

The map shows the BLM Field Offices so you can get additional information about the allotments from RAS.  The map also shows the USFS Ranger Districts but as of today, Western Horse Watchers has not found a similar reporting tool for their allotments.

Management Priorities at Rock Springs HMAs

Table 1 in the Final EA for resource enforcement actions provides AMLs for the five HMAs, from which forage requirements can be computed.  Table 8 provides forage allocations to livestock inside the HMAs.

Rock Springs Forage Allocations 09-25-21

The 2,165 horses allowed by plan receive 25,980 AUMs per year, compared to 191,791 AUMs per year for privately owned livestock.

The HMAs cover 3,436,096 acres of public and private lands in southwestern Wyoming.

Livestock receive 7.4 times more forage than the horses.  Would you call that a thriving ecological balance?  Would you call it a balance?  Would you say the HMAs are managed principally for wild horses?

The forage assigned to livestock would support an additional 15,982 wild horses, 32% of the horses in off-range holding!

The True AML for the five HMAs would be 18,147.  The pre-gather population of 5,105 is well within that range.

If the HMAs were managed according to plan, livestock would be the primary consumer of resources in Adobe Town, Great Divide Basin and White Mountain.  They would be the principal consumer of resources in Salt Wells Creek and Little Colorado.

The Rock Springs RMP Amendments, not yet approved, will make things worse, by closing three of the HMAs and downsizing a fourth.  Little Colorado won’t be affected, because, as you can see from the data above, it’s been zeroed out already.

RELATED: Rock Springs Roundup Starts in Two Weeks.

Thriving Ecological Balance-3

Jackson Mountains Roundup Day 10

The incident began on September 15.  Gather stats through September 24:

  • Type: Emergency
  • Method: Helicopter
  • Horses captured: 346, up from 252 on Day 7
  • Average daily take: 34.6
  • Capture goal: 600
  • Removal goal: 600
  • Returned: 1, on Day 10
  • Deaths: 12, up from 6 on Day 7
  • Shipped: 277, up from 142 on Day 7

Two horses were put down on Day 8, two on Day 9 and two on Day 10, all due to pre-existing conditions.  The death rate is now 3.5%, up from 2.4% on Day 7.

The daily reports point to IM 2021-007, Euthanasia of Wild Horses and Burros Related to Acts of Mercy, Health or Safety, as justification for the deaths.

Foals represented 23.1% of the horses gathered.  Of the adults, 37.2% were male and 62.8% were female.

Body condition scores were not provided.

Day 10 ended with 56 unaccounted-for animals.  The report did not indicate if the stallion returned that day was an escape or a release.

Other statistics:

  • AML: 217
  • Forage assigned to horses: 2,604 AUMs per year
  • Pre-gather population: 1,018
  • Forage liberated to date: 4,140 AUMs per year
  • Water liberated to date: 3,450 gallons per day
  • Forage assigned to livestock: 7,394 AUMs per year (estimated)
  • Horses displaced from HMA by livestock: 616 (1.2% of off-range holding)
  • True AML: 833

RELATED: Jackson Mountains Roundup Day 7.

New Wild Horse Documentary Avoids Public-Lands Ranching?

Not mentioned in the following trailer:

The off-range corrals at 1:13, flooded with horses, displaced from their home range by privately owned livestock.

The trainers, competitions and shows at 1:34, boosting interest in adoptions, so more can be removed from the range.

The advocates at 2:24, darting rifles in hand, helping the government get rid of the horses, with benefits accruing to the ranchers.

If the film has a downstream focus, as suggested in the video, it will be of little help to America’s wild horses.  The problem is upstream, in the land-use plans and the rules that tilt the playing field in favor of the ranchers.

Rock Springs Roundup Starts in Two Weeks

Approximately 70% of the wild horses in five HMAs will be removed from public and private lands in the Wyoming checkerboard, beginning on or after October 7, according to a BLM news release.

The roundup will fulfill a court order known as the Rock Springs Consent Decree.

Helicopters will push the horses into the traps and the operation will be open to public observation.

The capture goal is 4,400 and the removal goal is 3,500.  Mares returned to the HMAs will be treated with contraceptives.

The pre-gather population is approximately 5,100 and the combined AML is 2,145.

Rock Springs HMA Map 03-31-21

All of the HMAs are subject to permitted grazing, as shown in Table 8 of the Final EA for resource enforcement actions therein.  Maps were posted with other project documents.

The destination of captured animals was not specified in the announcement.

Gather stats and daily reports will be posted to this page.

RELATED: Rock Springs Wild Horse Gather Plan Approved.

Overpopulation Putting Virginia Range Mustangs at Risk?

Yep, the horses are being hit by cars because there are too many of them, according to this Q&A by the Reno Gazette Journal.

The Nevada Department of Agriculture and the Campaign Against America’s Wild Horses agree that the Virginia Range can only support 300 to 600 horses, even though it’s been carrying around 3,000 for several years.

It’s an outlier that needs to be brought in line with the anti-horse narrative of the federal government.  (That’s one wild horse per thousand acres for those of you in Rio Linda.)

Sad as it is, the loss last week of two wild horses was almost nothing compared to what the advocates are doing to the herd.

Why are you still giving them money?

RELATED: Two Virginia Range Mustangs Hit by Vehicles.

Mid Year Status Report 06-09-21

PEER Report in the News

A story in today’s edition of The Salt Lake Tribune looks at HMAs and grazing allotments in Utah, especially those managed by the Fillmore Field Office.

The article said the office reported 1% of the allotments by acreage with substandard conditions due to grazing, but the Allotment Information report in RAS shows 33.6% of the public acres in the Improve category.

Earlier this year Western Horse Watchers found that approximately 57% of the public acres in Utah grazing allotments do not meet standards for rangeland health.

RELATED: Livestock Impede Sage-Grouse Recovery on Public Lands?