On September 11 the BLM began a removal of approximately 200 horses from the Onaqui HMA in Utah. BLM states the current population is over 510 wild horses (not including 2019 foals) and the set management level is 121-210.
Onaqui may be the most photographed herd in the US. The ease of travel, beautiful wild horses that have been acclimated to the “paparazzi,” make the Onaqui herd a favorite destination of anyone looking for a picture of a wild horse on our public lands. Many believe the Onaqui should be given a special status under law, a cultural tourist designation, to further protection of the herd and the habitat.
This roundup is being called a “step toward AML.” There is a dangerous proposal moving now in Congress that will remove 15-20K wild horses each year, for three years, to get to “National AML” of less than 27,000 on the range west wide. This number was set in a political game back in the 70’s and is not based of fair forage allocations, but a number to placate those that resented federal authority that stopped the wholesale practice of mustanging, that began with the passage of the 1971 Act to protect wild horses. More on “AML” HERE)
We hope you take the time to learn about the corporate lobby effort in DC and call your Senators today. (HERE)
This page has been set up as an update page for the removal operation. You will find the most recent update at the top of the page, scroll for earlier postings.
Please help keep us in the fight.
Day 6, Sept 16
There were 7 members of the public viewing the event.
Wild Horses captured: 26
Total: 187 captured, 2 deaths
Day 5, Sept 15
7 wild horses were captured and shipped to Delta. No public observation permitted yesterday. Observation should resume Monday.
Captured: 161, 2 deaths (both mares with roundup related injuries).
Day 4, Sept 14
No public observation was afforded as operations moved to military lands.
39 wild horses were captures, 38 were shipped. A mare broke her leg and was euthanized.
A domestic mule was captured and turned over to local authorities.
totals to date:
154 have been captured (target number is 200 removed)
2 deaths (mare with broken neck, mare with broken leg)
After 6 failed attempts at the trap, the operation was called off for the day. The large black band had a very savvy stallion that repeatedly evaded his own capture and that of this herd mates.
Trap location moves tomorrow onto military land. Our observer is still on range today.
Day 3: zero wild horses captured.
Total for 3 days:
115 captured. 1 death: A mare broke her neck during capture. All have been shipped to the Delta facility.
We were able to upload video taken yesterday (see post below) of the wild horse that got caught in the barbed wire rejoining his band. He had a few cuts and his limp was subsiding.
We are transferring more files and will update this page often.
captured day 2: 24 (10 stallions, 10 mares, 4 foals)
shipped to Delta: 24
total to date: 115
The target number for removal is 200 wild horses.
45 members of the public were present. This may be the largest observation of any wild horse capture operation. Because of the large crowd, observation was far from the trap. The following video represents what WHE can document for you at this location.
Our team member stayed until the final run.
Wild Horses captured: 91
Shipped direct to Delta facility: 90
Total Deaths Today: A mare died. No details on her age. She broke her neck on the panel during capture.
Our WHE team also scouted other areas of the range. We want to take a moment to talk about barbed wire fencing.
Open range is rapidly becoming a myth. Your public lands are not “wide open spaces” but a series of fenced grazing allotments and areas fenced off for mining. Barbed wire creates many dangers; limited movement throughout HMAs, blocking travel to water or water sources, and the obvious, the dangers of injury or death. Our team has documented injuries and deaths caused by barbed wire, throughout the west; deer, elk, sage grouse and wild horses.
BLM is planning a “targeted grazing” scheme. The NEPA (paperwork process) is underway. This proposal creates more hardships, more fences, more damage, to our wild places and is based on “junk science” being forwarded in this political climate that does not value our wild places and wild things. As this proposal moves forward in paperwork, we will give you more information, and will need your help, to fight back.
At Onaqui our team saw pronghorn and wild horses trying to navigate a series of barbed wire fences. The pronghorn seemed to stand by as a wild horse got hung up trying to follow his band (bachelors) over the fence.
WHE immediately notified the BLM office, they responded rapidly. The wild horse eventually freed himself, limped off, eventually the limp resolved and he joined his band mates.
The removal operation continues tomorrow.
Please help keep our teams in the field, at the table and, when needed, in the courts. Without you, none of this is possible.
Fish Creek roundup updates HERE
Learn about the backdoor deals to gut protections for our wild horses and take action HERE