The incident will begin on or about December 10, according to a news release dated December 3.
Helicopters will push the horses into the traps and the operation will be open to public observation.
The capture goal is 88 and the removal goal is 20. Mares returned to the range will be treated GonaCon, a contraceptive that may actually function as a sterilant.
The current population is thought to be around 154.
The HMA, part of the Smoke Creek Complex, covers 177,724 public and private acres in northwestern Nevada and has an AML of 204, as shown in Table 1 of the 2017 Final EA for resource enforcement actions therein.
The stocking rate allowed by plan is 1.1 wild horses per thousand acres, in line with the target rate of one wild horse per thousand acres across all HMAs.
Like Challis, the herd has not reached AML, yet a roundup is needed to prevent “undue or unnecessary degradation of the public lands.” Removing wild horses, not privately owned livestock, will help achieve standards for rangeland health.
The HMA lies within the Rodeo Creek and Pole Canyon allotments, according to the Western Watersheds map. The allotment map furnished with other NEPA documents shows the Complex boundary but not the HMA boundaries.
Refer to Section 3.9 in the EA for a discussion of livestock grazing in the Complex.
The land-use plan assigned zero AUMs per year to wild horses and 540 AUMs per year to livestock in Pole Canyon, with 2,448 AUMs per year assigned to wild horses and 5,540 AUMs per year to livestock in Rodeo Creek.
The AUMs available for grazing may have changed since the EA was published but the current values can be accessed at RAS. Roughly 10% of the Rodeo Creek AUMs are outside the HMA.
Captured animals will be taken to the off-range corrals at Palomino Valley.
Gather stats and daily reports will be posted to this page.