Multiple Use – The Old Days

In Section 3 of the original WHB Act, Congress ordered the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture to balance the needs of horses and burros with those of wildlife, especially endangered species.  There was no provision for domestic livestock.

Overpopulation was to be determined relative to wildlife in the affected area, not privately owned cattle and sheep.

The ranchers, realizing they had been cut out of the will, demanded changes from their political toadies, who gave them FLPMA, PRIA and a watered-down WHB Act.

Today, the ranchers have endorsed a plan that will reduce the number of free-roaming horses and burros to an ‘acceptable’ level, unrelated to the carrying capacity of the land.

Eighty percent of those animals will end up in off-range facilities and the remaining herds will be managed to extinction.

The Marr Plan is a step in the right direction but its scope is too small.

It’s time to get all the livestock off public lands and restore the Wild Horse and Burro Act to its original form.

Multiple Use WHB Act

It’s Not About the President, It’s About the Supreme Court

Is the end drawing near for Justice Ginsburg?

If she dies while he’s in office, the entire liberal program—and one hundred years of ‘progress’—will be put at risk.

Therefore, he has to go.  Either by outright removal or failure to win re-election in 2020.

He cannot be given the opportunity to nominate another justice, because liberals use the institution to drive their ruinous agenda.  Roe and Obergefell are just two examples.

Binge Grazing at Challis HMA

Now that the roundup is over and the horses are gone, the ranchers can enjoy more of what their allotments have to offer.

In just a few short months, thousands of cattle will be turned loose on an HMA that can only support 253 wild horses.  You see, the numbers won’t work with just hundreds of cow/calf pairs—which is what you might guess for an area that recently achieved a thriving ecological balance.

Refer to Tables 2 and 3 in Appendix G of the Environmental Assessment for the HMA management plan.

In the Bradbury Flat allotment, which covers 15,706 acres and is 100% inside in the HMA, 2,490 AUMs have been authorized on six pastures in a 2.5 month grazing season.

Livestock operators would have to place 996 cow/calf pairs on that parcel to consume that much forage in that amount of time.  The animal density would be 63.4 cow/calf pairs per thousand acres!

The density allowed by plan for wild horses is 1.5 animals per thousand acres.

On Bradshaw Basin, also 100% inside the HMA, ranchers have access to 850 AUMs on 8,184 acres for 2.5 months.  That translates to 340 cow/calf pairs on the allotment with a density of 41.5 cow/calf pairs per thousand acres.

The number of cow/calf pairs on the other allotments and the cow/calf densities can be found in the following table.  The permitted forage for the Mountain Springs allotment was computed by difference, so the column total matched the figure given in Section 4.2.2 in the EA.  The grazing season was not given so it was estimated.

Challis AUM Calcs-1

The chart below shows the forage allowed by plan for horses and livestock on the HMA.

The map showing the allotment locations on the HMA could not be found (mentioned in Section 4.2.2 in the EA) so all of the acreage in the HMA was used in the livestock density calculation.  If some of the land is not subject to livestock grazing, the overall cow/calf density would be higher.

Challis AUM Charts-1

Now you know why over half the horses on the HMA had to be removed.  By the time the ranchers get though, there’s almost nothing left for them.

Never mind that land was set aside for the horses.  That was a long time ago.

UPDATE: If you add the numbers in the ‘Acres in HMA’ column, you get 168,240, which is very close to the size of the HMA stated in the EA (168,720 acres).  Thus, all of the HMA is subject to livestock grazing, except for areas described as ‘Frail Lands.’

RELATED: Challis Roundup Ends.

Hypothesis, Reiterated

The number of wild horses and burros in off-range corrals and long-term pastures (around 50,000) can be explained by the misappropriation of forage on just a few dozen HMAs.

The forage allocated to privately owned cattle and sheep on public lands in the western U.S., about nine million AUMs per year, would support at least 750,000 wild horses and burros, enough to empty all of those corrals and pastures fifteen times over.

You don’t have a horse problem on western rangelands, you have a ranching problem.

RELATED: Hypothesis, Subject to the Test of Future Experience.

Assateague Island Cited as PZP Success Story

Refer to the comments from 40:52 to 42:44 in this radio segment on the ‘Path Forward’ by KNPR of Las Vegas.  The program host asks if there is a perfect model for managing wild horse populations.

The guest, a member of the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board and science advisor for Return to Freedom, pointed to Assateague as the gold standard (Maryland side of the island, ponies on the Virginia side are managed by the annual swim).

Seriously?

The size of the herd declined from 78 in November 2018 to 75 in November 2019, there is clear evidence of a problem with its sex ratio and genetic diversity may be inadequate.

And you’re holding that up as an example of success?

The only non-lethal option for on-range management of wild horses and burros in the American west is to end public-lands ranching and restore the WHB Act to its original form.

RELATED: ‘Path Forward’ Discussed.