Automatic Darting Machine to Ditch Microchips?

A grant from the National Science Foundation will fund the development of facial recognition technology, or similar algorithms, to identify wild horses for treatment, eliminating the need for RFID chips.

The system would provide a humane way to control population growth and keep the horses and other wildlife healthy, according to a story in today’s edition of the El Paso Herald-Post.

Benefits that might accrue to public-lands ranchers were not discussed.

RELATED: New Machine Darts Wild Horses Automatically.

Arizona Fire Restrictions Good News for Wild Burros?

The new rules, announced on June 11, apply to the Colorado River District, among others, which contains most of the HMAs in the state.  Refer to the map at the Arizona HMA home page.

Prohibited activities include discharging a firearm, air rifle, exploding targets or gas gun, which may affect the delivery of population controls by darts.

Use of jabsticks would not be affected.

A four-year trial of PZP on Black Mountain burros, mentioned in Section 4.1 of the 2020 Final EA for resource enforcement actions in the HMA, ends this August.

AJR-5 Hearing This Week

The Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife will consider the measure on June 17, according to the bill’s status.

More information, including a link to the livestream, can be found at the Committee’s hearings page (click on Show Details to see the agenda).

The resolution would ask the federal government to declare a moratorium on wild horse and burro roundups and urge the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service to restore the animals to their legal areas throughout the state of California.

RELATED: AJR-5 Amended.

Management Priorities at Twin Peaks HMA

One of the goals of the pilot episode of Wild Lands Wild Horses was to present the truth about America’s wild horses.

The documentary was filmed in and around the Twin Peaks HMA on the California-Nevada border and featured interviews with key stakeholders.

An equally admirable goal would be to present the truth about permitted grazing in areas set aside for wild horses, so let’s get to the numbers.

A 2019 Final EA for resource enforcement actions in the HMA provides data for horses, burros, cattle and sheep in Tables 1-1 and 3-2.  Additional information was obtained from the Allotment Master report in RAS.

The management plan allows 758 wild horses and 116 wild burros in the HMA, for a total forage demand of 9,792 AUMs per year.

The plan currently assigns 26,803 AUMs per year to privately owned cattle and sheep, down slightly from the resource allocations in 2019.

Twin Peaks Allotment Calcs 06-12-21

Approximately 99% of the public acres in the allotments do not meet standards for rangeland health.  If those conditions can be associated with wild horses and burros, why are three of the allotments in the Maintain category?  They’re all inside the HMA according to the map in Appendix H.  (As of today, there is no category for blaming substandard conditions on wild horses and burros.)

Livestock receive 73% of the authorized forage, neglecting wildlife, with the balance going to horses and burros.

The forage assigned to livestock would support an additional 2,234 wild horses, or 2,200 wild horses and 68 wild burros, or any other combination as long as the total forage demand is 26,803 AUMs per year.

That means 2,234 wild horses have been displaced from the HMA by permitted grazing, a figure not in the film’s dataset.

The True AML would be 758 + (116 ÷ 2) + 2,234 = 3,050 for horses only, or 2,800 horses and 500 burros, or any other combination that requires 36,595 AUMs per year.

How can you justify a fertility control program in the area when that many animals have been cheated out of a spot on their home range?  Only their enemies would endorse it.

Overall the film was enjoyable and worth the 50-minute viewing time.

RELATED: Wild Lands Wild Horses Pilot Episode Premieres This Week.

Pond Dries Up at Sand Wash Basin HMA

The video description says there is too much mud around the edge for the horses to get to the remaining water.

A similar pattern occurred three years ago, but the BLM said the springs are flowing and the wells are pumping, so water deliveries weren’t needed.

The situation deteriorated over the next few weeks, and the government gave the OK to haul water.

A report from 2018 said the horses are confined to the area by a fence.

Amendment Tries to End Horse Transport for Slaughter

An amendment to HR 3684, an infrastructure bill, would ban the transportation of horses across state lines or to Canada or Mexico for slaughter for human consumption, according to a news release by Animal Wellness Action.

The measure follows reports of ‘horse laundering‘ associated with the government’s adoption incentive program.

A related bill, the SAFE Act, has been stymied by agriculture interests and pro-slaughter members of Congress.

WSGA Names 2021 Outstanding Range Professional

A range management specialist in the Worland Field Office received the award from the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, according to a BLM news release dated June 7.

So how’s the grazing program doing in that area?

The Allotment Information report in RAS yielded 516 rows, from which 73 duplicates were removed, leaving 443 records.  The dataset was filtered by Allotment Number.

A pivot table summarized the results:

Custodial Category (condition unknown)

  • 76 allotments
  • 193,264 public acres

Improve Category

  • 267 allotments
  • 1,601,043 public acres

Maintain Category

  • 100 allotments
  • 246,903 public acres

Approximately 60% of the allotments in the Worland Field Office do not meet standards for rangeland health, along with 78% of the public acres.  There are over six acres in the Improve category for every acre in the Maintain category.

The announcement said that strong working relationships with grazing permittees incentivize cooperative approaches that foster healthier rangelands, but that does not appear to be the case.

Perhaps the award was given for looking the other way.

RELATED: Status of Allotments in Wyoming, Allotment Categories Explained.

Even the Advocates Want to Get Rid of Them

The following story aired June 2.

At 1:21: “We need the Bureau of Land Management to stop rounding up wild horses, to manage them on our federal public lands, humanely, and use birth control instead of rounding them up and removing them and then stockpiling them.”

At 2:51, in response to a question about hassling wild horses, “Because the livestock industry has a huge, um, huge amount of power, and money, and they want all the horses gone.”

If that’s true, why do you want to reduce the herds with birth control?  Are you not cooperating with the ranchers?  Do you want the horses limited to 20% or less of the available resources?

Undeniable Truth #2.

RELATED: Caving In to Ranching Agenda at Onaqui Mountain HMA?

Centennial Roundup Day 10

The incident began on May 28.  Gather stats through June 6:

  • Burros captured: 359
  • Goal: 300
  • Returned: 0
  • Deaths: 0
  • Shipped: Unknown

The cumulative total on the gather page is 290, compared to 359 from the daily reports.

The breakdowns between jacks, jennies and foals have been provided for all days, not just the first three.  There is a mismatch on May 31.

Foals accounted for 13.9% of the burros gathered.  Of the adults, approximately 51% were male and 49% were female.

The number of burros shipped each day has not been reported, putting all of the animals in the unaccounted-for category.

Although the goal has been exceeded, the operation has not been marked complete.

RELATED: Centennial Roundup Day 7.