Fun with Forage Allocations

A 1980 study showed that 8,165 cattle AUMs, 2,353 sheep AUMs, 322 wildlife AUMs and 3,116 horse AUMs were available for use in the HMAs of the Bible Springs Complex, according to Section 3.3.2 of the Draft EA for resource enforcement actions therein.

What can you conclude from these data if (a) you’re a sensible person and (b) you’re a wild horse advocate?

(a) Let’s simplify the dataset:

  • Forage to livestock – 10,518 AUMs per year
  • Forage to horses – 3,116 AUMs per year
  • Forage to wildlife – 322 AUMs per year

1. The AML was 260.  It was small relative to the available forage.  Today it is 170.

2. Livestock received 3.4 times more forage than the horses.

3. The HMA was managed primarily for livestock.

4. Horses received 23% of the authorized forage, neglecting wildlife.

5. The number of horses displaced from the HMAs by livestock was 876.

6. The True AML was 1,136.

7. If the herd was at 4X AML, the number of excess horses was zero.

8. The HMA was not overpopulated.

9. There was no justification for a roundup or fertility control program.

10. There is considerable dietary overlap among horses, cattle and sheep.

(b) The BLM should be managing the herd with safe and reversible birth control, not cruel and inhumane helicopter roundups.

RELATED: Fun with Resource Allocations.

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