A well-defined problem is half solved. That may be true in some cases, but the other 50% comes from identification of causes, a concept that eludes the wild horse advocates.
For example, a column in today’s edition of The Nevada Independent indicates that tens of thousands of privately owned livestock graze on allotments overlapping the Pancake Complex in Nevada, an area identified for wild horses, yet only 638 such animals are allowed to live there.
This pattern occurs throughout the western U.S. not because the BLM failed to create HMAPs, as suggested by the author, but because it’s specified in the land-use plans.
HMAPs must comply with LUPs. If the LUP assigns 84% of the authorized forage to privately owned livestock in an area set aside for wild horses, so will the HMAP.
Drilling and mining affect anywhere from a few acres to a few thousand acres, not mentioned by the writer, while public-lands ranching devours entire HMAs and beyond. There’s no comparison.
As for the advocates, articles like this keep their base fired up and the donations rolling in, while accomplishing nothing useful for America’s wild horses.
Contrary to what you read in this column by Tracy “You need to manage the numbers to fit what’s available for the horses” Wilson, field marshal for the Campaign Against America’s Wild Horses, the people of Nevada should tell their state representatives not to pass SB90 until the following language is removed:
No glorifying, legitimizing or ratifying the darting program and those involved, an affront to Velma’s legacy.
It defies the overpopulation and carrying capacity narratives.
You can’t be telling the American people that public lands in the western U.S. can only support one wild horse per thousand acres (27,000 animals on 27 million acres) while the Virginia Range is carrying ten (3,000 animals on 300,000 acres).
It must be erased, and the advocates are eager to help.
The population target of 600 animals, mentioned at the March 7 hearing for SB90, means an 80% reduction in herd size, at least, exactly what Velma was trying to stop.
As for the advocates, they are fools. Don’t give them a penny.
The allotment offers 3,325 AUMs per year on 186,083 public acres, as noted last week.
Is that good or bad?
Forage availability works out to 17.9 AUMs per year per thousand public acres, enough to support 1.5 cow/calf pairs, or 1.5 wild horses, per thousand public acres.
That’s not very much, when you realize the Virginia Range is carrying ten, or at least it did before the advocates got involved.
For comparison, the allotments in Sand Wash Basin HMA offer a weighted average 117.6 AUMs per year per thousand public acres, enough to support an additional 9.8 wild horses per thousand public acres, on top of the 2.4 wild horses allowed by plan.
This is what sinks the overpopulation narrative, repeated constantly by the advocates, not by what they say but by what they do.
The limited amount of forage on Majuba explains why the Antelope Range HA was zeroed out and why the doctrine of multiple use goes out the window in such cases.
Advocates with the Salt River Wild Horse Darting Group, an affiliate of the Campaign Against America’s Wild Horses, said on March 14 that “It’s never nice to disturb any wild animals, but to come in with gloves and lasso and pursue Salt River wild horses will get you in deep trouble here, because the Salt River wild horses are protected from harassment and interfering by State law.” Click on image to read the story.
Adoptions will be suspended for thirty days according to a BLM news release.
The announcement said the infection presents as nasal discharge, fever and swollen lymph nodes around the throat, and runs its course in two to four weeks, but did not indicate that 19 horses died from it last year at Wheatland.
The property covers 640 acres (one square mile) near Imlay, with spectacular views of Imlay Summit, Rye Patch Reservoir and sometimes wild horses and antelope, according to the listing on Redfin.
The National Data Viewer puts it inside the Antelope Range HA, the lawful home of wild horses, which lies within the Majuba Allotment.
To the west are the Kamma Mountains, Lava Beds and Seven Troughs HMAs, shown with orange borders in the following map. Click on image to open in new tab.
There were 172 horses in the HA last year, according to the HA/HMA Report.
The Allotment Master Report puts Majuba in the Improve category, with 3,325 active AUMs on 186,083 public acres. The subject parcel was likely counted among the 90,434 private acres contained in the allotment.
The preliminary EA and supporting documents were copied to the project folder today.
Comments will be accepted through April 14, according to the BLM news release.
Alternative 2, the Proposed Action, would try to achieve these goals:
Manage wild horses and resources to maintain a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple use relationship
Manage for healthy wild horses, maintain a level of genetic diversity that avoids inbreeding and maintain characteristics that are typical of Pryor Mountain horses of mixed ancestry including Colonial Spanish
Manage population growth using including gathers, fertility control, natural means, or a combination of these techniques
The AML would increase slightly, from the current 90-120 to 108-121.
The current population is thought to be around 200 wild horses.
Athens attorney Hal Wright may sue the Secretary of Interior, the regional National Park Service office in Atlanta and the state of Georgia, according to a story by The Brunswick News, claiming the horses are not equipped to live on a barrier island.
They compete with native species for a limited amount of food, including sea oats that help anchor sand dunes, and grasses in saltwater marshes, trampling the wetlands and turning the areas into mud pits.
Wright wants the Park Service to provide food, water and medical care for the horses.
He suggests darting the mares with a contraceptive and to round up the healthy younger animals and remove them from the island for adoption.
“Let the horses die out naturally and be gone,” he told the reporter, an approach favored by most wild horse advocates, including the Campaign Against America’s Wild Horses, its affiliates, offshoots and followers.