Heber Ranchers Push Back

Members of local ranching families attended the meeting Wednesday evening to protest what they say are unfair accusations by the public, according to a report posted today by the White Mountain Independent.

One woman said “We have people from across the globe thinking the ranchers in this community are killing horses.”

RELATED: Meeting Yields No New Details on Heber Wild Horse Shootings.

Meeting Yields No New Details on Heber Wild Horse Shootings

The Navajo County Sheriff’s Office won’t say if it has any suspects and the Forest Service doesn’t know if the same person killed all the horses, according to a report posted last night by AZFamily of Phoenix, AZ.

The Forest Service said 36 horses have been found dead in and around the WHT since October 2018, with 24 of them confirmed shot.

RELATED: Latest on Heber Shootings.

Comments Invited on Draft EA for Swasey Roundup

Yesterday, BLM announced the opening of a 30-day comment period for a preliminary environmental assessment of proposed management actions on the Swasey Mountains HMA in western Utah that include roundups and population growth suppression.

An EA looks at the consequences of a proposed action along with those of one or more alternatives.

The HMA covers approximately 135,000 acres and has an AML of 100, for an aimed-at population density (stocking rate) of 0.7 horses per thousand acres.

Swasey HMA Map-1

The HMA intersects four grazing allotments, according to Section 3.2.1 of the EA.

The forage allocated to livestock inside the HMA is estimated to be 7,800 AUMs per year, compared to 1,200 AUMs per year for the horses.

Comments—substantive only, please—can be submitted at this page.

Laramie County Rule Change to Be Considered Tomorrow

Refer to item 03 on the meeting agenda, a public hearing for a proposed amendment to the Laramie County Land Use Regulations for Concentrated Feeding Operations.

The change would reduce the minimum distance from large-scale feedlots to occupied dwellings from three miles to one mile, effectively silencing the voices of some residents near the proposed ‘adoption center’ for wild horses.

An executive summary of the amendment appears at the beginning of a memorandum to the planning commission from department staff.

Arguments in favor of the change, written by the developer of the facility, appear in Appendix C (page 15).

Opposing arguments, from nearby residents, are presented in Appendix D (page 19).

RELATED: Laramie County Commissioners Mull Rule Change.

Chincoteague Ponies Receiving Vaccine for ‘Swamp Cancer’

A report posted this morning by Delmarva Now says results from the program are encouraging but boosters will be needed for another two or three years before the vaccine can be considered effective.

Eight ponies on the Virginia side of Assateague Island have died from the disease, formally known as Pythiosis, since 2018.

RELATED: Vaccine for ‘Swamp Cancer’ in Development.

Attempt to List Pryor Mustangs as Endangered Not Over Yet

A judge ruled today that the FWS erred in rejecting a petition by Friends of Animals to classify the wild horses of the Pryor Mountains as an endangered species.

The group claimed that the AML is too low, putting the Old Spanish genetic lineage at risk of extinction, according to a report posted today by Courthouse News Service.

The judge recommended that the decision be vacated and the FWS ordered to reconsider the petition.

The Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as the National Marine Fisheries Service, are responsible for classifying and protecting endangered species in the U.S.