Two of the five HMAs located within the county are below their AMLs, according to an opinion piece posted yesterday by the Elko Daily Free Press, but three are way above their government-mandated limits.
The overpopulated HMAs belong to the Antelope Complex, reviewed on these pages back in August, where the management plan assigns 89% of the forage to livestock.
That tells you that the available resources are far greater than those required by the AMLs. In other words, AMLs represent the number of wild horses the land can support after most of the resources have been diverted to privately owned cattle and sheep.
That’s what makes the writer grumpy: He can’t stand the thought of horses roaming freely on lands designated for them, enjoying resources that were set aside for them.
Such a waste!
The Spruce-Pequop HMA, one of the offending areas, was the scene of a wild horse shooting at the beginning of a gather in 2018. Multiple rounds to the abdomens.
BLM knows who did it but to my knowledge there have been no arrests in the case.
The HMA intersects the massive Spruce Allotment, to which Madeleine Pickens has grazing preference. Not for cattle but for wild horses. Initially the BLM agreed with the plan but has since blocked every attempt to effect it. Because of the crybaby ranchers.
The AML for Spruce-Pequop yields a stocking rate of 0.3 wild horses per thousand acres, almost nothing, which is what you’d expect for an area where most of the food has been allocated to public-lands ranchers.
Horses on the Goshute HMA, which is 1,184% over AML (not 1,284% as stated in the article) must be skin and bone.
Same for the Antelope Valley horses, which are 272% over the limit (not 372%).
Except they’re not. Resources are more than adequate. They’re just not being distributed in a manner that satisfies the ranchers.