UPDATE: The roundup begins. No info from tribe if they are selling direct to kill buyer or if they will be going to auction. No observation of removal will be facilitated citing this as “private property,” even though Forest Service wild horses will likely be among those captured. We have been told it begins in the morning.
Criteria being used to determine which horses are federally protected Forest Service wild horses and which are tribal is still unknown. Criteria from 2015 was inadequate and operation cancelled. A considerable number will be unbranded, no ownership of tribe provable.
We will update as soon as possible.
A removal will begin December (in a few weeks) that will remove a minimum of 500 horses from tribal and Forest Service lands.
Many people remember the legal actions in 2013 that stopped the sale of all unbranded horses at a kill auction in Fallon, Nevada. (read more HERE)
In 2015 a “tri-agency” agreement saw an attempt to remove horses from BLM/FS/tribal lands come to a stop after criteria to determine ownership of horses (were they federally protected and BLM or FS horses?) was proven inadequate*. (read more HERE)
*You can read our assessment document from 2015 here: https://wildhorseeducation.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/draft_mcdermittproposed.pdf
We are following this trail to see if horses captured will be sent to auction in Fallon, if the tribe simply will do direct only sales (kill buyers) or if there will be opportunity for public sale.
Press Release below:
Forest Service and Fort McDermitt Paiute Tribe to Conduct Domestic Horse Removal
Winnemucca, NV., Nov. 9, 2018 – The Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe and USDA Forest Service are working together to conduct a series of gathers to remove domestic horses belonging to tribal members from the Santa Rosa Ranger District on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.
The population is estimated to be around 2,500 horses. These horses are competing for forage with authorized livestock and native wildlife, overgrazing and harming ecosystems, and damaging fences and stock-watering facilities.
“We will take precautions to avoid impacts to wildlife, archaeological sites, and other sensitive resources during the gather,” said Forest Supervisor Bill Dunkelberger. “We are committed to the safe and humane treatment of the livestock throughout the gather operations.”
The planned gather will take place on the northern Santa Rosa Ranger District in Humboldt County, Nevada, 75 miles north of Winnemucca, off U.S. Route 95. The initial gather may begin before the end of this year. It is expected to remove a minimum of 500 horses.
Once the domestic horses have been removed, they will be returned to the Tribe.
Documentation on the Fort McDermitt Cooperative Domestic Horse Removal Project can be found at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=44432.
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