Meeting Yields No New Details on Heber Wild Horse Shootings

The Navajo County Sheriff’s Office won’t say if it has any suspects and the Forest Service doesn’t know if the same person killed all the horses, according to a report posted last night by AZFamily of Phoenix, AZ.

The Forest Service said 36 horses have been found dead in and around the WHT since October 2018, with 24 of them confirmed shot.

RELATED: Latest on Heber Shootings.

Comments Invited on Draft EA for Swasey Roundup

Yesterday, BLM announced the opening of a 30-day comment period for a preliminary environmental assessment of proposed management actions on the Swasey Mountains HMA in western Utah that include roundups and population growth suppression.

An EA looks at the consequences of a proposed action along with those of one or more alternatives.

The HMA covers approximately 135,000 acres and has an AML of 100, for an aimed-at population density (stocking rate) of 0.7 horses per thousand acres.

Swasey HMA Map-1

The HMA intersects four grazing allotments, according to Section 3.2.1 of the EA.

The forage allocated to livestock inside the HMA is estimated to be 7,800 AUMs per year, compared to 1,200 AUMs per year for the horses.

Comments—substantive only, please—can be submitted at this page.

Chincoteague Ponies Receiving Vaccine for ‘Swamp Cancer’

A report posted this morning by Delmarva Now says results from the program are encouraging but boosters will be needed for another two or three years before the vaccine can be considered effective.

Eight ponies on the Virginia side of Assateague Island have died from the disease, formally known as Pythiosis, since 2018.

RELATED: Vaccine for ‘Swamp Cancer’ in Development.

Attempt to List Pryor Mustangs as Endangered Not Over Yet

A judge ruled today that the FWS erred in rejecting a petition by Friends of Animals to classify the wild horses of the Pryor Mountains as an endangered species.

The group claimed that the AML is too low, putting the Old Spanish genetic lineage at risk of extinction, according to a report posted today by Courthouse News Service.

The judge recommended that the decision be vacated and the FWS ordered to reconsider the petition.

The Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as the National Marine Fisheries Service, are responsible for classifying and protecting endangered species in the U.S.

Reveille Roundup Approved

BLM announced today the signing of a FONSI (Finding of No Significant Impact) on January 17, clearing the way for a roundup on February 3.

Approximately 200 excess horses will be gathered, with 150 permanently removed from their home range.  Fifty animals will be returned to the HMA, including 25 mares that have been treated with contraceptives.

The operation, to be carried out with helicopters, will be open to public observation and captured animals will be taken to the Indian Lakes off-range corrals in Fallon, NV.

A link to the gather stats and daily reports was not provided.

RELATED: Comments Invited on Reveille Gather Plan.

PSA 12-12-19

BLM Redefines ‘Foal’

The roundup page for the Eagle Complex says “For the reporting purposes of this gather, all of last year’s weanable foals will be counted as adults,” but it does not supply a definition of ‘weanable.’

Barn witches and other knowitalls would probably put the age at four months but if you followed the development of a mom/baby pair—without interfering—you’d know it’s at least six to eight months before the foal can survive mostly on solid food, or as much as a year, when the next one is born.  Nursing can go on for two or three years if there are no more births.

Anyway, if they don’t disclose the number of youngsters found in the traps, you can’t test their assertion that the herd is growing at a rate of 20% per year.

RELATED: Eagle Roundup Day 4.