State Intervenes in Challenge of Utah Gather Plans

The state recently filed a motion to intervene in a case brought by Friend of Animals against the BLM disputing four of the agency’s management plans that affect wild horses in six HMAs, including Muddy Creek and Onaqui Mountain.

The plans authorize fertility control and roundups over ten-year periods, eliminating public input and oversight, according to a column in The Salt Lake Tribune.

Western Horse Watchers believes the focus is wrong and rejects the statement about oil, gas and mineral extraction projects damaging the environment and contributing to climate change.  While those activities may have an effect on wild horses, it is small compared to the impact of public-lands ranching.

Gather plans don’t change the land-use plans, they enforce them.  By minimizing AMLs and shifting most of the resources to livestock operators, they drive the roundups and other resource enforcement actions, including

  • Fertility control
  • Sex ratio skewing
  • Sterilization
  • Euthanasia

Why not target the land-use plans and the policies and regulations that support them?

Some have been around for over 20 years.  Why don’t they come up for public review on a regular basis or have sunset provisions that necessitate their reauthorizations?

Rock Springs Roundup Day 16

The incident began on October 7.  Gather stats through October 22:

  • Type: Planned
  • Method: Helicopter
  • Horses captured: 538, up from 408 on Day 14
  • Average daily take: 33.6
  • Capture goal: 4,400
  • Removal goal: 3,500
  • Returned: 1, no change from Day 14
  • Deaths: 4, no change from Day 14
  • Shipped: 472, up from 269 on Day 14

The death rate declined to 0.7%.

Foals represented 21.0% of the horses captured.  Of the adults, 57.6% were male and 42.4% were female.

Body condition scores were not reported.

The location of gather ops was not given.  Five HMAs are involved in the roundup.

Rock Springs HMAs 10-13-21

Day 16 ended with 61 unaccounted-for animals.

Other statistics:

  • AML: 2,165 (across five HMAs)
  • Forage assigned to horses: 25,980 AUMs per year
  • Pre-gather population: 5,105
  • Forage liberated to date: 6,444 AUMs per year
  • Water liberated to date: 5,370 gallons per day
  • Forage assigned to livestock: 191,791 AUMs per year (estimated)
  • Horses displaced from HMAs by livestock: 15,982 (32% of off-range holding)
  • True AML: 18,147

RELATED: Rock Springs Roundup Day 14.

Owyhee Roundup Day 11

The incident began on October 11.  Gather stats through October 21:

  • Type: Planned
  • Method: Helicopter
  • Horses captured: 449, up from 305 on Day 9
  • Average daily take: 40.8
  • Capture goal: 947
  • Removal goal: 615
  • Returned: 55, no change from Day 9
  • Deaths: 7, up from 5 on Day 9
  • Shipped: 242, up from 163 on Day 9

Two horses were put down on Day 10 due to pre-existing conditions, per IM 2021-007, Euthanasia of Wild Horses and Burros Related to Acts of Mercy, Health or Safety.

The death rate through Day 11 is 1.6%.

Foals represented 18.7% of the horses captured.  Of the adults, 52.1% were male and 47.9% were female.

Body condition scores were not reported.

The location of gather ops was not given.  Five HMAs are involved in the roundup.

Owyhee Complex Map 10-04-21

Day 11 ended with 145 unaccounted-for animals.

Other statistics:

  • AML: 999 (across five HMAs)
  • Forage assigned to horses: 11,988 AUMs per year
  • Pre-gather population: 1,188
  • Forage liberated to date: 4,728 AUMs per year
  • Water liberated to date: 3,940 gallons per day
  • Forage assigned to livestock: Unknown
  • Horses displaced from Complex by livestock: Unknown
  • True AML: Unknown

RELATED: Owyhee Roundup Day 9.

Beatys Butte Roundup Day 42

The incident began on September 6.  Gather stats through October 17:

  • Type: Planned
  • Method: Bait
  • Horses captured: 43, up from 22 on Day 26
  • Average daily take: 1.0
  • Capture goal: 100
  • Removal goal: 50
  • Returned: 0
  • Deaths: 1, no change from Day 26
  • Shipped: 42, up from 21 on Day 26

Activity has been sporadic and reports, when they appear, cover several days.

The cumulative total at the gather page is 34.

The death rate is 2.3%.

The percentages of stallions, mares and foals cannot be determined.

Body condition scores are not known.

Day 42 ended with no unaccounted-for animals.

Other statistics:

  • AML: 250
  • Forage assigned to horses: 3,000 AUMs per year
  • Pre-gather population: 261
  • Forage liberated to date: 516 AUMs per year
  • Water liberated to date: 430 gallons per day
  • Forage assigned to livestock: 19,000 AUMs per year (estimated)
  • Horses displaced from HMA by livestock: 1,583 (3.2% of off-range holding)
  • True AML: 1,833

RELATED: Beatys Butte Roundup Day 26.

Advocates Don’t See Themselves as Dangers to Wild Horses

Next to the federal government, nobody’s getting rid of more wild horses than they are.

But a column in the current edition of Horse Tales, titled ‘Wild Horse Tales,’ claims the danger is the very people who say they love them.

For example, residents who give them hay when snow arrives.  Others, including your host, who put out water for them.  Then there are those (OMG) who toss apples that might choke them or induce colic.

Don’t they realize they’re putting the lives of those horses at risk?

Every year the advocates knock on doors and try to politely reason with those that are guilty.  They would never try anything like that.

WHC Arrogance 08-13-21

In some cases, the BLM gets a call about horses in someone’s yard, so they set a trap and remove an entire band.  A whole band!

Meanwhile, the advocates are getting rid of hundreds—if not thousands—of wild horses every year with their ruinous darting programs, as they lecture you about endangering their lives with water and apples.

They’re full of crap!

Back on the range, livestock graze peacefully in areas where the horses once roamed, thanks in part to the advocates.

Mid Year Status Report 06-09-21

‘Stay Wild’ Event Next Month

The online fundraiser, benefitting the Campaign Against America’s Wild Horses, will occur on November 4, according to an announcement at the bottom of page 3 in this month’s edition of Horse Tales.

Advocates use the term to signal their support for PZP darting programs.

If we get rid of them they can stay.  Their land will be managed primarily for livestock but we don’t want you to know about that.

Wilson at 2019 WSHE 10-19-21

Rock Springs Roundup Day 14

The incident began on October 7.  Gather stats through October 20:

  • Type: Planned
  • Method: Helicopter
  • Horses captured: 408, up from 285 on Day 11
  • Average daily take: 29.1
  • Capture goal: 4,400
  • Removal goal: 3,500
  • Returned: 1
  • Deaths: 4, no change from Day 11
  • Shipped: 269, up from 214 on Day 11

No activity occurred on Day 13 due to poor road conditions.

The death rate through Day 14 is 1.0%.

Foals represented 20.8% of the horses captured.  Of the adults, 56.7% were male and 43.3% were female.

Body condition scores were not reported.

The cumulative totals at the gather page show one horse returned to the range but the daily reports do not indicate when.

The location of gather ops was not given.  Five HMAs are involved in the roundup.

Rock Springs HMAs 10-13-21

Day 14 ended with 134 unaccounted-for animals.

Other statistics:

  • AML: 2,165 (across five HMAs)
  • Forage assigned to horses: 25,980 AUMs per year
  • Pre-gather population: 5,105
  • Forage liberated to date: 4,884 AUMs per year
  • Water liberated to date: 4,070 gallons per day
  • Forage assigned to livestock: 191,791 AUMs per year (estimated)
  • Horses displaced from HMAs by livestock: 15,982 (32% of off-range holding)
  • True AML: 18,147

RELATED: Rock Springs Roundup Day 11.

Owyhee Roundup Day 9

The incident began on October 11.  Gather stats through October 19:

  • Type: Planned
  • Method: Helicopter
  • Horses captured: 305, up from 190 on Day 5
  • Average daily take: 33.9
  • Capture goal: 947
  • Removal goal: 615
  • Returned: 55
  • Deaths: 5, up from 4 on Day 5
  • Shipped: 163, up from 79 on Day 5

Helicopters did not fly on Day 7 while operations moved to another area and were grounded again on Day 8 due to weather.

A yearling was put down on Day 6 due to malnutrition, per IM 2021-007, Euthanasia of Wild Horses and Burros Related to Acts of Mercy, Health or Safety.  The Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program must not include rehab of underweight youngsters?

The death rate through Day 9 is 1.6%.

Foals represented 18.0% of the horses captured.  Of the adults, 51.6% were male and 48.4% were female.

Body condition scores were not reported.

Fifty five horses were released on Day 7, including 20 mares treated with contraceptives.

The location of gather ops was not given.  Five HMAs are involved in the roundup.

Owyhee Complex Map 10-04-21

Day 9 ended with 82 unaccounted-for animals.

Other statistics:

  • AML: 999 (across five HMAs)
  • Forage assigned to horses: 11,988 AUMs per year
  • Pre-gather population: 1,188
  • Forage liberated to date: 3,000 AUMs per year
  • Water liberated to date: 2,500 gallons per day
  • Forage assigned to livestock: Unknown
  • Horses displaced from Complex by livestock: Unknown
  • True AML: Unknown

RELATED: Owyhee Roundup Day 5.

SCAM ALERT: Stop the Roundups But Not the Removals

A letter about the Rock Springs roundup in today’s edition of the Jackson Hole News & Guide refers to the same site as the letter cited in yesterday’s post about well-meaning individuals led astray by groups masquerading as defenders of wild horses.

The site offers three letters “that can be copy and pasted and sent to your local media, no matter if you live in Wyoming or New York.”  Two of them include exhortations for fertility control.

Who created this site, Keep Wyoming Wyld?

Keep WY Wyld Logo 10-20-21

The browser tab shows the logo of the Campaign Against America’s Wild Horses, an organization consumed by the overpopulation narrative and dedicated to long-term achievement of resource allocations that put the interests of public-lands ranchers far above those of the horses, sometimes referred to as achieving and maintaining AMLs.

RELATED: Management Priorities at Rock Springs HMAs.

Most Wild Horse Advocates Have Never Seen Wild Horse Advocacy

Consider this letter to the editor about the Rock Springs roundup published yesterday by The State Journal of Frankfort, KY.  How could the author look at the data in Tables 1 and 8 of the Final EA and write something like that?

Easy.  She didn’t.  She knows nothing about them.  She was never informed by her sources about EAs, resource allocations and land-use plans.

How many other well-meaning individuals fall into that category?

They may be aware of the ranching advocacy groups, who don’t hide their agenda, but what about the variants dressed up as defenders of wild horses?

The message is always the same: Get rid of them.

The charlatans will tell you that getting rid of them with helicopters is bad, but getting the rid of them with PZP is good.  The process is slower so you need to be patient.

Although timing and methods differ, their goals are identical: Make sure that privately owned cattle and sheep are the primary, if not principal, consumers of resources in areas set aside for wild horses and burros.

RELATED: Management Priorities at Rock Springs HMAs.

Barren Valley Roundup Day 41

The incident began on September 8.  Gather stats through October 18:

  • Type: Emergency
  • Method: Helicopter
  • Horses captured: 1,288, up from 1,133 on Day 27
  • Average daily take: 31.4
  • Capture goal: 1,900
  • Removal goal: 1,900
  • Returned: 0
  • Deaths: 17, up from 16 on Day 27
  • Shipped: 1,178, up from 1,067 on Day 27

Operations were suspended from Day 28 through Day 37.

The cumulative total at the gather page is 1,274, with 1,213 shipped.

One horse was euthanized on Day 40 due to pre-existing conditions.  The death rate decreased slightly to 1.3%.

Foals represented 21.4% of the horses gathered.  Of the adults, 45.0% were male and 55.0% were female.

Body condition scores on Days 38 to 40 ranged from 1.5 to 4.

Operations resumed at Coyote Lake on Day 38.  Three HMAs are involved in the roundup.

Day 41 ended with 93 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: 15,456 AUMs per year
  • Water liberated to date: 12,880 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 27.

Virginia Range Darting Program Coordinator Named?

The job posting no longer appears on Idealist.

The staff directory at the Campaign Against America’s Wild Horses says Tracy Wilson joined the organization as a contractor to assist with fertility control data, database setup for new projects, and land trust projects.

She appears in this photo from the 2019 Western States Horse Expo wearing a ‘Stay Wild’ T-shirt.  (‘Get rid of them with pesticides’ would be more accurate.)

Wilson at 2019 WSHE 10-19-21

Wilson volunteered with Wild Horse Connection, a group that feeds and darts the Virginia Range mustangs.

The trailcam photos below show some of their handiwork.  Click on image to open in new tab.

RELATED: Virginia Range Darting Program Coordinator Still Not Named?

Progression of Injuries VR 07-30-21

Advocates Peddle Their Pest Control Programs

The Senate Appropriations Committee has earmarked more than $10 million for the BLM to use fertility control instead of roundups, according to a report posted yesterday by KLAS News of Las Vegas.

VR Darting Injury 09-15-21

The advocates want to replace cruel and inhumane helicopter roundups with cruel and inhumane darting programs, putting the interests of livestock operators far above those of the horses.  Helicopters achieve the same results but in a much shorter timeframe.

Who’s doing the lobbying?  Who’s paying for it?  Why are you still giving them money?

The woman interviewed for the story, referred to only as a “wild horse advocate,” is the Director of Government Relations for the Campaign Against America’s Wild Horses, according to the staff directory.

RELATED: Roy, Like Most Advocates, Stuck on Stupid.

Devil’s Garden Roundup Ends

The operation was cut short due to “challenging horses and changing weather patterns,” according to the yesterday’s update, with 506 horses captured.

The removal goal was 600.

The cumulative total in the previous update was 468.  The final update said 19 horses were taken on October 15, followed by 18 on October 16, for a total of 505.

The number of deaths and the number of horses shipped were not reported.

Body condition scores were not provided.

The number of unaccounted-for animals cannot be determined.

Foals represented 12.7% of the horses captured.  Of the adults, 49.1% were male and 50.9% were female.

The low percentage of foals suggests the herd is not growing at a rate of 20% per year, a benchmark used by land managers to predict herd sizes.

Centennial Roundup Day 7

The incident began on October 9.  Gather stats through October 15:

  • Type: Emergency
  • Method: Helicopter
  • Horses captured: 214
  • Average daily take: 30.6
  • Capture goal: 250
  • Removal goal: 250
  • Returned: None
  • Deaths: 1 (not captured)
  • Shipped: 214

On Day 4, a mare was found in a hole where a Joshua Tree used to be, too weak to get up.  Following IM 2021-007 policy and procedures, the horse was put down.

Foals represented 13.1% of the horses captured.  Of the adults, 43.0% were male and 57.0% were female.

Body condition scores were not reported.

The low percentage of foals suggests the herd is not growing at a rate of 20% per year, a benchmark used by land managers to predict herd sizes.

Operations are taking place on the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station.

Centennial HMA Map 11-07-21

Day 7 ended with no unaccounted-for animals.

Other statistics:

  • AML: 168
  • Forage assigned to horses: 2,016 AUMs per year
  • Pre-gather population: Unknown
  • Forage liberated to date: 2,568 AUMs per year
  • Water liberated to date: 2,140 gallons per day
  • Forage assigned to livestock: Unknown
  • Horses displaced from HMAs by livestock: Unknown
  • True AML: Unknown

RELATED: Centennial Roundup in Progress.

Optics of Wild Horse Roundups

A secondary purpose of roundups is to humiliate and demoralize.

The advocates, defeated a long time ago, repeat the lies of government and help them minimize herd sizes, with benefits accruing to the public-lands ranchers.

The wild horse documentary produced by Robert Redford et al, which opened last week, is the latest example.

Love Triangle on Americas Public Lands 08-19-21

Your host has no desire to see the film, the trailer was enough.  If you saw it and wrote a review, put a link in the comments.

Sun Rising or Setting on Virginia Range Mustangs?

No youngsters in these trailcam photos, thanks to the advocates.

The stocking rate on the Virginia Range was ten wild horses per thousand acres before they got involved, contradicting the government’s claim that western rangelands can only support one wild horse per thousand acres.

Now, they’re destroying the evidence.

Bureaucrats at the Nevada Department of Agriculture say the herd size, initially around 3,000, should be 300, ideally, and no more than 600, which works out to a stocking rate of one to two wild horses per thousand acres.

On BLM lands, which cover most of the state, AMLs and stocking rates are limited so areas set aside for wild horses can be filled with privately owned livestock, contrary to the provisions of the original statute.

Sunrise at Water Tanks 08-12-21