BLM Ends Muddy Creek Gather

The helicopter roundup at Muddy Creek HMA ended 09/13/18, with 153 wild horses removed from the range due to dry conditions and overpopulation.  No horses were returned to the range and one died in the process.  Details of the loss were not provided.

Wild horse populations have been declining in Utah this year, with the Range Creek, Cedar Mountain, Four Mile, Bible Spring, Tilly Creek and Sulphur HMAs—along with Muddy Creek—targeted for removals.  Onaqui Mountain, popular with visitors and residents, has been spared so far.

The drought that has affected several western states in 2018 only seems to affect wild horses and burros.  Impacts to livestock have not been reported.

If winter brings sufficient precipitation will the horses be returned to the range?

Animals not placed into private care will be moved to segregated long-term holding in off-range pastures.  No foals, no family, no legacy.

RELATED: Muddy Creek Gather Starts Next Week.

BLM Wants Another Bite of the Apple at Goshute and Antelope Valley HMAs

BLM said yesterday that it will remove more wild horses from the Antelope Valley and Goshute HMAs, starting on or about September 18.  The stated reason for the gather is lack of water and forage on the range.  Refer to this news release.

Bait traps will be used for the removals.  The announcement did not indicate if the operations would be open to public inspection (probably not).

The HMAs are south of Wells, NV, near the Utah border.


The wild horse population at Antelope Valley is estimated to be 1,755 and that for Goshute is 1,429.  These figures correspond to lands covered by the HMAs and those surrounding them where the horses have been observed.

The AML for Antelope Valley is 259 wild horses, while that for Goshute is 123.  These figures pertain to lands within the HMAs only and therefore cannot be compared to the population estimates because they don’t have the same land-basis.  They do not provide a rational basis for statements regarding overpopulation.

Captured animals will be taken to the Indian Lakes Off-Range Wild Horse and Burro Corrals in Fallon, NV, where they will be checked by a veterinarian and prepared for adoption.  Almost certainly the system is flooded with all the horses removed from western rangelands in 2018.  Who benefits from this?

Gather stats and daily reports can be found at this page.

The announcement stated that the horses were consuming water from a spring on private land.  If this is a problem, why hasn’t the owner installed a fence?  Or would a fence preclude access to the spring by other species (such as, ahem, cough-cough, livestock)?

Note that the BLM can bring water to the traps but not to the range.  If an advocacy group stepped forward with a desire to haul water, would the horses be allowed to stay on the range?

Approximately 900 wild horses will lose their freedom forever as a result of these gathers, on top of those removed just a few weeks ago.  Some may be adopted, most will either be sold (into questionable hands) or moved to off-range pastures.

RELATED: Antelope Valley Gather Complete, BLM Ends Goshute Roundup.

Emergency Gather at Owyhee Complex Begins This Week

The BLM will gather 1,175 wild horses from HMAs affected by the Martin Fire in July of this year, starting on or about September 21, according to a news release issued today.

Of this amount, 875 horses, classified as ‘excess,’ will be permanently removed from the area.  Some mares, no more than 150, will be treated with contraceptives and returned to the range, along with an equal number of stallions.

Helicopters will be used to push the horses into the traps and the operation will be open to public observation.

The fire started near Paradise Valley, NV on 07/04/18 and spread eastward, consuming over 435,000 acres (BLM announcement says 07/09/18).


The Owyhee Complex includes the Little OwyheeOwyhee, Snowstorm Mountains, Little Humboldt and Rock Creek HMAs.  The complex covers about 1.06 million acres and has a combined AML of 999, for an aimed-at population density of 0.94 animals per thousand acres.

The average population density across all HMAs is one animal per thousand acres.

The announcement did not acknowledge the presence of livestock on these HMAs, nor did it indicate if AUMs would be curtailed as a result of the fire.  Don’t worry though, it’s the oil and mining companies behind this madness.  Those industries require thousands of tons of forage every year to keep their machinery running, and they’re not going to let some stupid horses steal it from them.

Captured animals will be taken the Palomino Valley Corrals north of Reno, NV (already flooded with horses from other roundups), where they will be checked by a veterinarian and prepared for adoption (already saturated with horses from other roundups).

Gather stats and daily reports can be found on this page.

RELATED: BLM Seeks Information on Martin Fire.

Wildfire Reported at Sand Wash Basin HMA

About 200 acres have burned, according to a story posted today by The Denver Post, but it has not harmed any horses and they are still able to access water normally.  However, volunteers are concerned that the fire has consumed forage in an area already suffering from drought.

Personnel from Wild Horse Warriors have been hauling water to the Sand Wash horses since July, avoiding an emergency gather.  The HMA covers 157,730 acres in northwest Colorado.