Lead

Reveille Roundup: Backstory Important to ALL Wild Horses

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Release in Reveille after the 2017 roundup. Every 2-3 years there is a roundup and release (same wild horses). Primarily younger wild horses are returned. We have seen the same wild ones captured and released again and again. The assertion that wild horses are harder to catch with repeated capture? it is simply to keep the holding system full and do minimal fertility control. The wild ones at Reveille, after repeated removal, are actually some of the quietest removals we see in our years of documentation. However, it should be noted, the population at Reveille is aging… collectively.

The 105,494-acre Reveille HMA sits within the 650,520-acre Reveille (livestock) Allotment. A year-round (12 month) livestock permit allows grazing of 1000-1800 cow/calf pairs depending on the time of year. The stocking level for wild horses is 138, restricted to the HMA acreage. BLM ESTIMATES the population at 200-220 at this time. (It is interesting that BLM is not noting a specific target number for removal. In the past they have removed to as low as an estimated 93 wild horses on range, including those released. We expect BLM will target about 190 for capture and release 50-70. They will remove more than half the wild horses living in the area today.)

The Resource Management Plan (RMP) for this field office of the BLM was finalized in 1997 and has not been updated (RMPs were intended to last about a decade to allow review of changing technologies and priorities and all for public input).  The district that this office resides in is the Battle Mountain district. The district has two field offices, two RMPs.  The other field office, Mt Lewis, still operates under an RMP approved in 1986. Both field offices are running hard rock mining, solar, oil and gas using these RMPs that never envisioned, let alone analyzed, the technologies being approved by this district. (The fast track for extraction you are all reading about under former Sec of Interior Zinke and current Sec of Interior Bernhardt, was in large part modeled after this districts planning structure.)

In 1987 a court Settlement (and agin in 2001/2002 IBLA) with the permittee keep Reveille at the AML designated in the 23 year old RMP (noted in previous paragraph). The RMP began revisions in this district in 2012 (WHE was involved from day one) but the process was abandoned (as mining fast track took over the work load and budget).

An RMP informs (legal baseline) for all proposed actions in a district. Yet as we stated, the district has created amendments for fire, mining, livestock, but none for wild horses. Wild horse advocates are told they have to wait for the entirely new RMP to propose any changes, for any HMA.

Another document that is supposed to inform proposed action for wild horses is the Herd Management Area Plan (HMAP). An HMAP is supposed to be used to inform an RMP (baseline) and then all proposed actions for a herd. Reveille does not have one. In fact, the state of Nevada has 83 Herd Management Areas (HMAs) and only 1 HMAP. This district? does not have a single HMAP. (more and an action item you can take HERE)

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2014 “trap-site” adoption of Reveille wild horses. WHE assisted with multiple trap site events in this district trying to help in any way we could to lift an asserted “burdensome workload.” We found that “workload” was not the core issue.

In 2012 we began addressing these issues with this district. In 2015 our own agreement with the NV State Office (after dropping litigation) led to us trying to work with the district to rectify these issues. We invested a lot of resources (time, attention, research, funding) to assist. What we found was a system that did not actually address issues, but seemed to do all it could to hold it static. Not one single HMAP, project, etc that we worked on has been actualized in the district. We are still trying (never stop trying) but the “friends and family club” takes high priority at this time and, literally, ignores any others including those with long term investment.  Our wild ones always suffer consequence (like the decimation of a plan at Fish Creek and 80% of the baseline removed for the study). 

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Reveille release 2017 in a hail storm and a rainbow. It was not the sign of change we had hoped for. But maybe those changes are not far ahead if we just keep up “the good fight?” Never give up.

Reveille is an example of so much that gets stated as a “science fact” that any 5th grade science teacher would make you stay after school and study. As the roundup begins later this week we will bring you roundup updates and more “myth busting” on Reveille. It is way past time the paperwork is redone, not just copied and pasted into the next roundup EA.

Today, please take this action to help all of our wild horses. Before Congress releases any new funding to this program, we must get them to make site specific management planning (HMAPs) a condition prior to any more funding for removals. Roundups are not management. BLM is mandated to manage, not remove. (action HERE)

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Can you help us stay in this fight?

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Our roundup team is the only public observation at the 2020 Eagle roundup to date. In fact, we are the only org to have observers at any Eagle roundup in over a decade. WE are also the only org to ever litigate abuse at BLM roundups in history. We need your help to stay in field.

Eagle updates here. 

 

 

 

Categories: Lead, Wild Horse Education