Assateague Herd Rebounds in Latest Census

The Park Service counted 78 horses on the Maryland side of the island in March, up from 73 a year ago, according to a story by WJLA News of Arlington, VA.  The findings were released on socialist media.

The fertility control program was shut off in 2016 but the herd has continued to decline, as seen in this history brief by NPS.  The chart shows an average growth rate of about 13% per year between 1975 and 1986, before the program was started.

The survey found 27 males and 51 females this year, suggesting that the breakdown by sex may be inching closer to normal.

The expected range of variation from a simple random process centered at 50% males / 50% females, with a herd size of 78, is 25.8 to 52.2.  The observed numbers of males and females fall within these limits so the results could be attributed to chance.

Last year’s results were outside of limits.

The increase in herd size this year was due to a larger number of males.

The expected range of variation must be determined by calculation, using basic statistical formulas, where n = 78 and p-bar = .5.

RELATED: Assateague Herd Declines in Latest Census.

Ranchers Rebranding Agenda as Wildlife Conservation?

SJR3 is one example.  It’s not about livestock, according to one of its adherents, even though the term appears five times in the text and the rancher-friendly Path Forward was cited once.

The writer of an opinion piece appearing in today’s edition of The Salt Lake Tribune claims that loss of sagebrush habitat, which rural communities need for ranching, hunting and other recreation, can be attributed to invasive cheatgrass, encroaching juniper, wildfires and overabundant wild horses, among other things.

Therefore, to protect wildlife that inhabit those areas, we need to eliminate those things because they displace native grasses, consume them or destroy them.

Like SJR3, the goal is wildlife conservation.  The ranchers have little if any interest in these efforts and will not benefit from them.

The author did not indicate if the photo of the cut-down juniper tree, which had probably been there for several hundred years, was taken on a grazing allotment.

RELATED: Sagebrush Restoration Project Inching Ahead.

SJR3 Not Intended to Benefit Livestock Producers?

The resolution was drafted to benefit Nevada’s wildlands and wildlife, according to the writer of column posted today by The Sierra Nevada Ally of Reno, NV.

Let’s accept that as a true statement.

Now, suppose you were going to write it to help the public-lands ranchers.  What would you do differently?  What exactly would you change?

“The fact that there is a problem with livestock does not mean we should not try to solve the problem with overabundant horses.”

You don’t have too many horses, you have too little food.  Gathering to the low end of AML and suppressing population growth reflects that reality.

The author testified in favor of the measure at the March 23 hearing.  His presentation was questioned at the end of the public comments for omitting data on cattle.  Go to 5:25:40 in the video transcript of the meeting.

RELATED: AWHC Intervenes in SJR3?

Management at the Maximum Possible Level

At the Salt River Horse Exhibit with Scouts Trail.

Meanwhile, back on the Virginia Range, the fertility police spent the weekend cleaning their darting rifles, getting ready for another season of population suppression.

Both programs are sponsored by the Campaign Against America’s Wild Horses.

You can’t have government telling the people that the land can only support one wild horse per thousand acres when the Virginia Range is carrying ten.

RELATED: Saving the Salt River Horses by Getting Rid of Them.

AWHC Intervenes in SJR3?

An amendment to the resolution was proposed in a work session on April 1.  It was submitted by the American Wild Horse Campaign.  Video of the meeting has been linked to the SJR3 page on NELIS.

The amendment does not contest the management priorities on lands set aside for wild horses and burros in Nevada, illustrated in this morning’s commentary on the Desatoya HMA, nor the resource allocations arising therefrom.

Rather, it suggests an alternate method for getting rid of those animals, which will achieve the results desired by the SJR3 supporters but in a longer timeframe.

RELATED: SJR3 Stirs Up Wild Horse Debate in Nevada?

Thriving Ecological Balance at Desatoya HMA?

The management plan assigns 2,160 AUMs per year to wild horses at the upper end of the AML, per Section 1.2 of the Final EA for resource enforcement actions in the HMA.

Livestock receive 9,133 AUMs per year per Table 3-2 in the EA.  The forage available to livestock inside the HMA from the Porter Canyon allotment decreased from 6,352 AUMs per year in the Draft EA to 5,877 AUMs per year in the Final EA.

The total authorized forage in the HMA is 11,293 AUMs per year, neglecting wildlife.

That means the horses can consume up to 19% of their food.

The Proposed Action, authorized in yesterday’s Decision Record, will gather the HMA to the lower end of the AML and minimize growth rates thereafter with fertility controls and sex ratio skewing.

The remaining horses will need 1,524 AUMs per year, about 13% of the authorized forage, which is the long-term goal of the management plan.

Perhaps we should refer to it as a pest control plan, designed to protect the interests of the public-lands ranchers, not America’s wild horses.

The forage assigned to livestock would support an additional 761 horses for a True AML of 941.  The current population is thought to be around of 231.

If the HMA was managed principally for wild horses, per the original statute, there would be no need for a roundup or fertility control program.

RELATED: Desatoya Wild Horse Decision Record Signed.

Desatoya Wild Horse Decision Record Signed

The government opted for Alternative 1, the Proposed Action, according to the document issued today.

The decision is subject to a 30-day appeal period and the initial roundup would not occur before September.

The gather plan, valid for ten years, includes fertility controls and sex ratio skewing.

The project area is about 90 miles east of Fallon, NV, according to the news release.

RELATED: New Desatoya Gather Plan Available for Review.

Final Solution to America’s Wild Horse ‘Problem?’

The writer of an open letter in the Pagosa Daily Post has the answer: Relocate wild horses from areas where they are in conflict with livestock (which is most of them) to remote wilderness areas that are unsuited for livestock grazing.

Although the letter was addressed to DOI Secretary Haaland, she probably doesn’t have the authority to carry it out per Section 1339 of the statute.

Section 1333(a) refers to public lands that sustain existing herds (in 1971) of wild free-roaming horses and burros as “sanctuaries for their protection and preservation.”