North Hills Roundup (2019)

MM_NH_121419 - 1 (3)

Before the roundup begins

The North Hills JMA (Joint Management Area, managed by BLM and Forest Service) has been reported to contain 317 horses. This is 528 percent above the appropriate management level (AML) of an extremely low 40-60 wild horses. The FS manages 24,006 acres , the BLM 50,127 acres, with another 10,511 acres of state and private lands for a total of 84,644 acres. The area is heavily used by recreation and private livestock.

BLM plans to remove 250 wild horses. Wild horses removed from the range will be transported to the Axtell Wild Horse Facility in Axtell, Utah. You can view the BLM decision documents here: https://go.usa.gov/xUbjB

Update on the chaos caused in the spending bill by big $$ lobbyists, the window “on the backside” to YOU helped build to attack the corruption before it causes devastation. We are ready to hit it hard. (HERE)

MM_NH_121419 - 1 (2)

Observer reports listed with most recent at the top. Scroll for earlier reports. 

Totals to date (Dec 20): 213 wild horses captured. BLM had targeted 250. There will be no fertility control, no release. Roundup has concluded. 


Dec 20: 6 wild horses captured. BLM did not make 250 targeted. There will be no release. Yesterday we were informed that today would be last day of operation.

Arrival at trap 9:17 @ 18 degrees, calm winds

Chopper was up a little before 9:00 am.
10:04 first run came in with 5 horses, the back roan horse split off up to the left, 4 went in the trap He did not pursue the roan horse that escaped.
Note @ 11:33 there had been a guy up on the ridge with a rifle, we thought we heard 1-3 shots. The chopper had dropped him off, then picked him up.BLM said he was “shooting blanks” to move horses out of trees.
There were some horses that were camping out on the hillside that were not moving from pressure to the chopper. I could hardly sight one dark horse. Two darker horses did come in run #2.
12:57 second run came in 2 horses total approach and in the trap.
We headed for holding and then informed there would be no observation at holding allowed today.

Dec 19: 14 wild horses captured in three runs. First run at 7:30 am in 16 degrees. Last run at 11 am.

Trap moved into a neighboring livestock grazing allotment today(from previous trap). Bands were captured. Trap moves to the next allotment tomorrow. Captured operation expected to end tomorrow as winds increase over the weekend. No release of (fertility control) treated wild horses expected.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Dec 18: Third day at the trap. 5 runs brought in 24 wild horses. The day began around 10 degrees as the sun rose. The day warmed to the upper 30’s, the warmest day at this trap.

Trap moves tomorrow. Hopefully, the distance to trap will be shorter so condition of wild horses can be observed.

Dec 17:  82 (53 stallions, 46 mares, 6 foals) wild horses were captures and 52 shipped to Axtell.

The day began extremely cold, 10 degrees. The first run did not occur until after 9 as the day warmed into the high 20’s. The last group came in after 3. A trip to holding and back to town after dark.

Today members of the band that escaped capture yesterday repeated the escape at the exact same spot at the trap.  Will complete upload of video and file full report tomorrow.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Condition of cows on range in area. It was difficult to assess wild horses, but easy to see private livestock.

Dec 16, day 2: 86 wild horses captured by helicopter, one roped, for a total of 87 captured.

Today there were 12 runs, bands brought in in small groups. One yearling roped. Wild horses taken directly to short term facility (Axtell). Temporary holding will be constructed as trap moves (likely tomorrow). During trapping temps ranged from 24 degrees F to 34 degrees.

One band broke jute and fled over the rise as a mare and her youngster turned back into trap. A yearling broke and ran toward observation. The yearling was roped.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


After the operation was called for the day our WHE CAWP team member surveyed the trap location where the jute had been dropped from the wings for the day. No wild horses captured due to weather.

December 15: The convoy and crew headed out as the forecast predicted the weather would improve. Cloud cover remained low in this specific area with periodic snowfall. The operation was called off due to weather just before noon. It appears trap will be a bit less than a mile from observation and obscured by draws in the bench. (We will see what we can tomorrow.)


Wild horses expected to be captured and trailer hooked up for loading. Weather cancelled todays operation.

Our observer photographed the area. Livestock turned out on both public and private property. Often we see very thin cows out on public lands, particularly in winter, in every state in the West. Wild turkeys were seen and fun to watch.

More tomorrow.


Desatoya roundup 2019

Fish Creek roundup 2019

Fifteen Mile 2019

Triple B 2019

Some of the roundup operations our CAWP team attended this year. For other roundup operations use the search bar, just type in the name of the HMA and year. 


Our roundup team is trained in the Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy (CAWP). WHE is the only org in history to take BLM to court over abuse at roundups. Our teams are working hard onsite building on that record to continue the fight.