Wild Horse Education

2020 Roundups: The Halfway Mark

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Beginning in fiscal 2019, and ending in fiscal 2020, BLM did the largest bait trap operation they have ever attempted. Targeting 1250 wild horses at the Antelope Complex in NV BLM allowed no observation of activities and shipped wild horses directly into the off public viewing facility Broken Arrow (Indian Lakes). This number is not included in the 2020 totals.   click picture for more information 

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) operates on a fiscal year that begins in October (fiscal 2020 began in October 2019) and runs through September.

The “roundup year” is now at it’s midway point. BLM has not updated the actual capture/fertility control numbers; by our preliminary count for the first half of the fiscal year BLM has removed 4271. BLM had proposed to treat 130 with fertility control and release. BLM has not updated the actual numbers treated. Our preliminary count is a total of 60 mares released in the first half of fiscal 2020 that were treated with a fertility control vaccine (32 treated with PZP and 28 with GonaCon).

You can view the completed “first half of fiscal 2020” here  FY2020 Tentative Wild Horse and Burro Removal Schedule

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Fifteen Mile roundup WY; 607 captured, 11 deaths (click picture for more info)

Helicopters can (currently) be used to capture wild horses from the first day of July through the last day of February.  BLM considers this time “foaling season.” Foaling season is not determined by any site-by-site data set, but a timeframe set by national memo. This is one of the assertions of data and how it is used in practice.

BLM will add bait trap operations throughout the summer and, usually, does not update the helicopter schedule until sometime in June. Bait trapping can happen all year and we expect some of those to be added to the schedule this coming summer.

We will alert you as BLM adds to the schedule for the remainder of fiscal 2020.

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North Hills, UT: 213 captured (click picture for more)

In the 2020 Appropriations package BLM was awarded an additional $21 million to help fund the “Path Backwards” plan rammed through Congress by corporate special interests. The names listed by Chris Stewart (R-UT) as he addressed the House (see part of his speech here) made backdoor deals that excluded large segments of the interested public and most wild horse organizations. This plan funds the largest removals we have ever seen (15-20K wild horses per year), sterilization and more. (BLM has dragged their feet on using any temporary fertility control in any meaningful fashion. Any expectation that this funding will only be used for temporary fertility control has no foundation in fact.)

With your help we were able to add a hurdle to the fast track to destruction. Congress had requested a report from BLM on the wild horse and burro program. The report was due in August of 2019. The additional funding wont be released to BLM until Congress has 6o days to appropriately review the report.

BLM has still not released the expected report for review. We stand ready to address the report but we are asking for your help again. BLM creates removal planning, not management planning. BLM is not mandated to remove, they are mandated to manage. We are asking that you help us to begin addressing the the report before it drops. Please click here to learn more and take action to mandate site by site Herd Management Area Plans (HMAP) prior to releasing any funding that can be used to remove or sterilize herds without any scientific justification and long term management plans. 

Desatoya roundup: 456 captured and removed. (click here for more)

The first half of fiscal 2020 demonstrated both inconsistencies and deterioration of with transparency of operations and the Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy (CAWP).  WHE is the only org to litigate to gain both the access policy and CAWP. At this juncture the second half of fiscal 2020 is, unfortunately, likely to see further deterioration and the need to resume an adversarial position as BLM has, in essence, broken every single stated intention.

One example of a data set that WHE has been compiling over the last several years is observable foaling seasons. A place where that data is applicable is in the ongoing battle to improve any welfare policy. (Foaling season is not determined by any site-by-site data set, but a timeframe set by national memo. This is one of the assertions of data and how it is used in practice; a practice that results in helicopter roundups during actual foaling season. )

WHE litigated again and again until BLM created both policies during the timeframe of ensuing (court ordered) mediation. BLM also created revision and review frames for those policies that have not been adhered to. Access, and even “welfare,” have simply slipped into the friends and family club under the dark cloud of the “corporate backdoor deal.”

We will have more for you soon on this specific battleground.

Eagle roundup: 1716 captured, 24 confirmed dead (click here for more info)

The funding for the massive roundup at Eagle came “last minute.” BLM is confident that they could use up existing funding for removals as they await a $21 million dollar influx to complete their “roundup year 2020.”

There are multiple ongoing battlegrounds in the resource war of public lands that threatens the survival of our wild horses and burros.

Our teams are getting comments on record for multiple proposed policy changes, gutting NEPA, grazing reform, rapidly expanding mining and more. Our range data teams are heading out to get baseline data as the growing, and foaling, season begins.

Core to the work of WHE is the fight against abuse on and off the range and during capture. With everything we see, this is a core issue in a system that uses any opportunity to minimize, ostracize and even threaten, any voice that dares to challenge the cruel and exploitative nature of its actions.

The rest of fiscal 2020 promises to present many challenges. Together we can face these challenges and stand as a strong voice in the fight to protect our wild ones from abuse and to gain an honest effort to manage them on the range for future generations. 


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Reveille: 113 captured (click pic for more)


Can you help us stay in this fight?


Categories: Wild Horse Education