Fox-Lake Range Wild Horse Roundup Announced

The incident will begin on or about December 10, according to a news release dated December 3.

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

The capture goal is 88 and the removal goal is 20.  Mares returned to the range will be treated GonaCon, a contraceptive that may actually function as a sterilant.

The current population is thought to be around 154.

The HMA, part of the Smoke Creek Complex, covers 177,724 public and private acres in northwestern Nevada and has an AML of 204, as shown in Table 1 of the 2017 Final EA for resource enforcement actions therein.

The stocking rate allowed by plan is 1.1 wild horses per thousand acres, in line with the target rate of one wild horse per thousand acres across all HMAs.

Like Challis, the herd has not reached AML, yet a roundup is needed to prevent “undue or unnecessary degradation of the public lands.”  Removing wild horses, not privately owned livestock, will help achieve standards for rangeland health.

Fox-Lake Range HMA Map 12-05-21

The HMA lies within the Rodeo Creek and Pole Canyon allotments, according to the Western Watersheds map.  The allotment map furnished with other NEPA documents shows the Complex boundary but not the HMA boundaries.

Refer to Section 3.9 in the EA for a discussion of livestock grazing in the Complex.

The land-use plan assigned zero AUMs per year to wild horses and 540 AUMs per year to livestock in Pole Canyon, with 2,448 AUMs per year assigned to wild horses and 5,540 AUMs per year to livestock in Rodeo Creek.

The AUMs available for grazing may have changed since the EA was published but the current values can be accessed at RAS.  Roughly 10% of the Rodeo Creek AUMs are outside the HMA.

Captured animals will be taken to the off-range corrals at Palomino Valley.

Gather stats and daily reports will be posted to this page.

Rock Springs Roundup Day 58

The incident began on October 7.  Gather stats through December 3:

  • Type: Planned
  • Method: Helicopter
  • Horses captured: 2,940, up from 2,727 on Day 56
  • Average daily take: 50.7
  • Capture goal: 4,400
  • Removal goal: 3,500
  • Returned: 46, no change from Day 56
  • Deaths: 15, no change from Day 56
  • Shipped: 2,708, up from 2,495 on Day 56

The death rate is 0.5%.

The cumulative total includes 1,149 stallions, 1,193 mares and 598 foals.  The gather page shows 1,319 stallions.

1,319 + 1,193 + 598 = 3,110

Foals represented 20.3% of the horses captured.  Of the adults, 49.1% were male and 50.9% were female.

Body condition scores were not reported.

Gather activity continued at Salt Wells Creek and Adobe Town.  Five HMAs are involved in the roundup.

Rock Springs HMAs 10-13-21

Day 58 ended with 171 unaccounted-for animals.  The total number of horses removed is 2,940 – 46 = 2,894, which includes these animals.

Other statistics:

  • AML: 2,165 (across five HMAs)
  • Forage assigned to horses: 25,980 AUMs per year
  • Pre-gather population: 5,105
  • Forage liberated to date: 34,728 AUMs per year
  • Water liberated to date: 28,940 gallons per day
  • Forage assigned to livestock: 191,791 AUMs per year (estimated)
  • Horses displaced from HMAs by livestock: 15,982 (32% of off-range holding)
  • True AML: 18,147

RELATED: Rock Springs Roundup Day 56.

Rock Springs Roundup Day 56

The incident began on October 7.  Gather stats through December 1:

  • Type: Planned
  • Method: Helicopter
  • Horses captured: 2,727, up from 2,478 on Day 54
  • Average daily take: 48.7
  • Capture goal: 4,400
  • Removal goal: 3,500
  • Returned: 46, no change from Day 54
  • Deaths: 15, up from 12 on Day 54
  • Shipped: 2,495, up from 2,270 on Day 54

A stallion suffered a broken leg and a mare suffered a ruptured uterus on Day 55 as a result of the roundup.  A stallion was euthanized on Day 56 due to a pre-existing leg injury.  The death rate is now 0.6%.

The cumulative total includes 1,066 stallions, 1,106 mares and 555 foals.  The gather page shows 1,236 stallions.

1,236 + 1,106 + 555 = 2,897

Foals represented 20.4% of the horses captured.  Of the adults, 49.1% were male and 50.9% were female.

Body condition scores were not reported.

Gather activity continued at Salt Wells Creek and Adobe Town.  Five HMAs are involved in the roundup.

Rock Springs HMAs 10-13-21

Day 56 ended with 171 unaccounted-for animals.  The total number of horses removed is 2,727 – 46 = 2,681, which includes these animals.

Other statistics:

  • AML: 2,165 (across five HMAs)
  • Forage assigned to horses: 25,980 AUMs per year
  • Pre-gather population: 5,105
  • Forage liberated to date: 32,172 AUMs per year
  • Water liberated to date: 26,810 gallons per day
  • Forage assigned to livestock: 191,791 AUMs per year (estimated)
  • Horses displaced from HMAs by livestock: 15,982 (32% of off-range holding)
  • True AML: 18,147

RELATED: Rock Springs Roundup Day 54.

Rock Springs Roundup Day 54

The incident began on October 7.  Gather stats through November 29:

  • Type: Planned
  • Method: Helicopter
  • Horses captured: 2,478, up from 2,262 on Day 52
  • Average daily take: 45.9
  • Capture goal: 4,400
  • Removal goal: 3,500
  • Returned: 46, no change from Day 52
  • Deaths: 12, up from 9 on Day 52
  • Shipped: 2,270, up from 2,096 on Day 52

Two mares ran into panels and broke their necks on Day 53.  A horse was euthanized on Day 54 due to a leg injury.  The death rate is 0.5%.

The cumulative total includes 974 stallions, 1,001 mares and 503 foals.  The gather page shows 1,044 stallions.

1,044 + 1,001 + 503 = 2,548

Foals represented 20.3% of the horses captured.  Of the adults, 49.3% were male and 50.7% were female.

Body condition scores were not reported.

Gather activity continued at Salt Wells Creek and Adobe Town.  Five HMAs are involved in the roundup.

Rock Springs HMAs 10-13-21

Day 54 ended with 150 unaccounted-for animals.  The total number of horses removed is 2,478 – 46 = 2,432, which includes these animals.

Other statistics:

  • AML: 2,165 (across five HMAs)
  • Forage assigned to horses: 25,980 AUMs per year
  • Pre-gather population: 5,105
  • Forage liberated to date: 29,184 AUMs per year
  • Water liberated to date: 24,320 gallons per day
  • Forage assigned to livestock: 191,791 AUMs per year (estimated)
  • Horses displaced from HMAs by livestock: 15,982 (32% of off-range holding)
  • True AML: 18,147

RELATED: Rock Springs Roundup Day 52.

Rock Springs Roundup Day 52

The incident began on October 7.  Gather stats through November 27:

  • Type: Planned
  • Method: Helicopter
  • Horses captured: 2,262, up from 2,038 on Day 47
  • Average daily take: 43.5
  • Capture goal: 4,400
  • Removal goal: 3,500
  • Returned: 46, up from 1 on Day 47
  • Deaths: 9, up from 8 on Day 47
  • Shipped: 2,096, up from 1,970 on Day 47

Helicopters did not fly on Days 49, 50 and 51.

A horse was euthanized on Day 49 due to a leg injury.  The death rate is 0.4%.

Foals represented 20.3% of the horses captured.  Of the adults, 48.9% were male and 51.1% were female.

Body condition scores were not reported.

Forty five stallions were released on Day 51, which may be intended to increase the number of males relative to females.  The practice, known as sex ratio skewing, slows reproduction and keeps the resource scales tipped in favor of the public-lands ranchers for longer periods of time.

The advocates prefer PZP darting.

Gather activity continued at Salt Wells Creek.  Five HMAs are involved in the roundup.

Rock Springs HMAs 10-13-21

Day 52 ended with 111 unaccounted-for animals.

Other statistics:

  • AML: 2,165 (across five HMAs)
  • Forage assigned to horses: 25,980 AUMs per year
  • Pre-gather population: 5,105
  • Forage liberated to date: 26,592 AUMs per year
  • Water liberated to date: 22,160 gallons per day
  • Forage assigned to livestock: 191,791 AUMs per year (estimated)
  • Horses displaced from HMAs by livestock: 15,982 (32% of off-range holding)
  • True AML: 18,147

RELATED: Rock Springs Roundup Day 47.

Advocates Lying About Virginia Range Darting Program?

The story earlier this week by KLAS News said the advocates have applied over 2,000 doses in the past two years and that the herd size “right now is pretty stable,” suggesting that they’ve achieved achieve zero population growth.

Do those numbers make sense?  How many horses would they have to eliminate each year to bring the birth rate in line with death rate?

Before they got involved in 2019, approximately 3,000 wild horses roamed on 300,000 acres.

The stocking rate was ten wild horses per thousand acres, well above the target rate of one wild horse per thousand acres that the BLM says is sustainable.

Trailcam photos posted on these pages over the last few years show the horses were in good condition (go to the Index and scroll down to Virginia Range).

The bureaucrats, eager to erase this outlier, said the area should have no more than 600 wild horses and, ideally, just 300, in line with the rancher-friendly management plans of the HMAs.

The advocates, agreeing with the narrative and happy to advance the ranching agenda, offered to help.  Better to get rid of them with PZP than helicopters or bait.

The growth rate of a herd depends on the birth rate and death rate:

Growth rate = Birth rate – Death rate

To keep the herd size constant, the advocates shoot some of the mares with PZP darts, so the birth rate is roughly equal to the death rate.

To reduce the herd size, the advocates dart as many mares as possible, driving the birth rate to zero.

This is what the Salt River Wild Horse Darting Group has done, and based on trailcam evidence this year, appears to be what the Virginia Range darting team is doing: Only one foal was photographed this year, not seen in the months hence.

Both groups receive support from the Campaign Against America’s Wild Horses.

If a herd grows at a rate of 15% per year and the death rate is 5% per year, the birth rate must be 20% per year.  In a herd of 3,000, 600 foals would be born and 150 horses would die.

If a herd grows at a rate of 20% per year and the death rate is 5% per year, the birth rate must be 25% per year.  In a herd of 3,000, 750 foals would be born and 150 horses would die.

To keep the herd size stable, the advocates would have to prevent 450 births at a 15% growth rate and 600 births at a 20% growth rate.

This is equivalent to a roundup every year.

Virginia Range Darting Calcs 11-26-21

Over a two year period, 900 doses would be needed if the herd was growing at a rate of 15% per year and 1,200 doses would be required if the herd was growing at a rate of 20% per year.

The treatment is not 100% effective so the actual number of doses will be higher, but not over 2,000 as stated in the story.

How do you explain the discrepancy?  The advocates weren’t hired to maintain the herd size, they were charged with drastic reduction.

Western Horse Watchers believes the herd was on its way to filling its niche and the growth rate was closer to 15% per year, maybe less, and not 20% per year, the rate used by land managers to predict herd sizes.

So the advocates should have been able to achieve ZPG with around 1,000 doses.

Given that they’ve used at least twice that many, wild horse numbers are probably going down, but they won’t admit it.

Worse, the story said that a mare can no longer reproduce after five to seven years of treatments (five are sufficient) so their goal may actually be sterilization, but they’re not going to acknowledge that either.

RELATED: AWHC Compromised?

Creator of ‘Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies’ Dead at 71

He’s known for the 15 metal horses galloping across a ridge near Vantage, WA, among other things.  The sculpture was never completed due to lack of funds.

The horses were supposed to spill out out of a 25,000-pound, 36-foot-diameter steel basket, according to a report by The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, WA.

RELATED: Artist Returns to Unfinished Sculpture Thirty Years Later.

Rock Springs Roundup Day 47

The incident began on October 7.  Gather stats through November 22:

  • Type: Planned
  • Method: Helicopter
  • Horses captured: 2,038, up from 1,843 on Day 44
  • Average daily take: 43.4
  • Capture goal: 4,400
  • Removal goal: 3,500
  • Returned: 1, no change from Day 44
  • Deaths: 8, up from 7 on Day 44
  • Shipped: 1,970, up from 1,701 on Day 44

Helicopters did not fly on Day 47.  No explanation was given.

A mare ran into the corrals on Day 46 and broke her neck.

The advocates will claim that this and other such losses can be prevented by ending reproduction—not permitted grazing—in areas set aside for wild horses.

Foals represented 19.9% of the horses captured.  Of the adults, 49.2% were male and 50.8% were female.

Body condition scores were not reported.

The death rate is 0.4%.

Gather activity continued at Salt Wells Creek.  Five HMAs are involved in the roundup.

Rock Springs HMAs 10-13-21

Day 47 ended with 59 unaccounted-for animals.

Other statistics:

  • AML: 2,165 (across five HMAs)
  • Forage assigned to horses: 25,980 AUMs per year
  • Pre-gather population: 5,105
  • Forage liberated to date: 24,444 AUMs per year
  • Water liberated to date: 20,370 gallons per day
  • Forage assigned to livestock: 191,791 AUMs per year (estimated)
  • Horses displaced from HMAs by livestock: 15,982 (32% of off-range holding)
  • True AML: 18,147

RELATED: Rock Springs Roundup Day 44.

Advocates Show Off Virginia Range Darting Program

They’ve achieved zero population growth in two years, according to a story by KLAS News of Las Vegas, and are now letting the herd die off.

Darting begins when a mare is as young as 10 months old, boosters continue every 8 to 12 months, and then after five to seven years, the mare can no longer reproduce.

The program is sponsored by the Campaign Against America’s Wild Horses.

Progression of Injuries VR 07-30-21