Even now, three years after the Nevada Department of Agriculture allowed the PZP fanatics to resume their eradication of the herd, the Virginia Range contradicts the government narrative about the carrying capacity of western rangelands.
“There is attrition in the range and the foal numbers are down, and so we see a reduction in population,” an advocate told a reporter for Courthouse News in the article last August.
Indeed, trailcams installed by Western Horse Watchers only detected one foal in 2021, not seen in subsequent images and probably lost to predators.
Before the advocates got involved, the Virginia was supporting ten wild horses per thousand acres, maybe a bit more, compared to one wild horse per thousand acres on public lands managed by the BLM (27,000 animals on 27 million acres).
The total number of animals allowed by plan includes burros, so if you corrected for that the target rate would be less than one wild horse per thousand acres.
But the bureaucrats at NDA, an agency staffed by ranchers and ranching sympathizers, among others, claim that the Virginia Range can only support 600 wild horses and ideally no more than 300. The latter figure works out to—wait for it—one wild horse per thousand acres, in line with the BLM narrative!
So the bureaucrats are coordinating their efforts to deceive the public, with the full cooperation of the advocates.
If they achieve their goals on the Virginia Range, “they will provide a valuable template that can be reliably exported to other management areas throughout the American West,” as stated in the article.