The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Swasey roundup of wild horses will be done n two phases: first the helicopter capture and then bait trapping. The total target number for the complete operation is 800.
The roundup schedule notes that the target for the helicopter portion is 600 captured, 550 removed and 20 mates will be treated with GonaCon (a hormonal fertility control) and released with 30 stallions. Phase 2; bait trap beginning in August, targets 200 with an additional 15 mares to be treated with GonaCon.
The Swasey Herd Management Area (HMA) comprises 120,113 acres of public and state lands. BLM states that the appropriate number of wild horses is 60-100.
Report from field: Wild horses under 4 are being shipped to the Delta facility for processing for adoptions. Wild horses over 4 are being sent to the off-limits facility at Axtell (mares over 4 with foals are going to Axtell). Axtell will not be open to view wild horses until October or November, if you want to adopt.
If BLM hits target for removals, mares from Axtell will be treated twice with GonaCon and then released.
Cumulative captured to date: 603, deaths 2
BLM is reporting the total on day 1 as: 150 (60 stallions, 24 mares, 0 foals). Yes, the breakdown does not add up. We will ask for clarification tomorrow. We believe BLM published the breakdown of shipping in the capture column.
Newest reports at the top, scroll down for earlier reports. This page updates frequently each day.
July 24, Day 10
Day 10: The first phase of the Swasey roundup ended with the capture of 9 wild horses.
While the Swasey roundup held the public captive, holding their breath and praying for no more tragic deaths, the debate continues to move forward in Congress on funding for the wild horse and burro program. Congress still doesn’t “get it.”
Influenced primarily by million dollar corporate public relations machines, and their paid lobbyists, Congress is set to just buy “more tools for the toolbox” and fail, yet again, to address any deficit in management. This program will collapse and more wild horses than ever will be in danger of the slaughter pipeline.
Help us get Congress to actually take a step to address the first flaw in management, that has stood for nearly 50 years, the lack of actual management plans.
Or take our “fast action.” We really are up against massive corporate lobby groups, with less than honest intentions.
A roundup starts long before a chopper flies. If you want to help “stop roundups” we need to address the rapid loss of our herds and their habitat. It begins with the management plan.
July 23, day 9
The observation location on day 8 was some distance from trap. Our observer was able to see the runs, roping and an ATV go out to drop off other wranglers (but not participate in leading, as happened the day before).
A chaotic run saw two wild horses escape, a wrangle appear (at the distance we were held) to try to stop a foal and then have to deal with the mare. Both escapees were roped. One collapsed as she was led into the trap.
Ou observer is back out today woking hard to address issues in the moment. Our team is woking very hard addressing issues for the long term through our work toward gaining policy change.
42 (14 stallions, 18 mares, 10 foals) wild horses were captured.
19 wild horses were captured and a wild horses was euthanized at the corral for what was called a “pre-existing condition” that we do not know the specifics of.
There was a dramatic escape and a warning issued after an ATV was used to lead a roped wild horse. You can see more in the full report HERE.
July 20, Day 6: Our observer was the only advocate org onsite today.
47 wild horses were captured.
A stallion valiantly tried to lead his family to freedom. But pressure from the chopper, aimed at removal, stopped them from following. They all but stopped when they realized he was not with them.
The stallion continued to call to his family in the trap.
He would stop and watch, as he fled up the rocky hillside, and call to them.
But it was too late for his family, they lost their freedom. He continued to call as his family was loaded onto the trailer.
Can you make a call today for our wild ones?
If you want to help us push getting the opportunity to have an actual management conversation for our wild horses?
You can help by urging your Representative in Congress to amend the budget bill:
“I am calling about the Interior spending bill for 2021. I urge you to propose that BLM should be prohibited from using funding to remove wild horses where they have not created a management plan (HMAP) as outlined in the BLM handbook required under the Code of Federal Regulations.”
You can find your rep here:http://govtrack.us
Congress is only pushing arms of the “Ten Years to AML” plan, urged by million dollar corporate lobby groups. Some openly on the document, some pushing from outside, all with the same agenda. This will not benefit our wild ones in the short term, or in the long term. This is political poker.
Learn about what we really need: click HERE.
Don’t let the pressure of the helicopter cause you to lose focus. If you lose focus we head into the largest years of roundups in US history with no plan to actually protect wild horses. Just because the path is harder, does not mean it is not the right path.
61 (17 stallions, 32 mares, 12 foals) wild horses captured today.
There was another collision with the panes today. The grey paint, in the center of the photo above, collided with the panels and fell.
Our data shows traps with this configuration are more prone to these types of collisions. The mare today was covered with a tarp, but she rose again. She was loaded into a trailer and taken to holding. We are very concerned about the injuries we noted, and the way she was standing.
The mare yesterday, a 5 year old, did not rise again.
We are just loading the report for the day, it was a very long day.
89 (27 stallions, 44 mares, 18 foals) captured.
The trap location has changed. The trap is configured differently, shorter, than the last trap. This type of configuration has demonstrated a higher rate of injury in our data base, particularly if the horses are not allowed to settle prior to loading.
A 5 year old mare collided with a trap panel after the second run and (apparently) broke her neck and died.
July 17, day 3: BLM has begin a bait trap operation as the helicopter operation is in progress. The bait operation was not to begin until August 15. Not only has BLM set temporary holding near a high traffic water, they have placed a pen around the same water for a bait trap.
Wild horses are hanging back. Only when they get so thirsty that they are willing to risk safety are they coming in. Human activity and pens are causing them to leave without water. This includes mare with very tiny foals.
ACTION ITEM CLOSED. BLM opened some of the panels to allow free access to water.
56 (19 stallions, 23 mares, 14 foals) were captured today.
We will post our full daily report soon.
July 16, day 2: Our observer is reporting 103 captured today, making the total 253, (37 stallions, 46 mares, 20 foals).
Images and video loading. A mare fell today trying to change direction and follow her stud, she got up and is ok.
Today a foal fell behind and was roped.
Our observer is reporting an odd placement of the holding facility and we will write more about that when the reports load in the morning.
You can read an article that shows pictures of (free) wild horses waiting for water because the holding facility was placed near the water source. You can also read an article that gives you some of the breakdown on the difference between management and removal in the BLM handbook, that they ignore. HERE.
Another long day tomorrow.
Our observer reported in at noon that the capture portion of todays operation is over. 150 captured today.
Temperatures ranged from 70-92 degrees at trap. When observers left temporary holding, at 3 pm, the temp had risen to 100 degrees. First group came in at 7 am, last group at 12:20. Wild horses were being shipped out fast to facilities. 39 wild horses shipped to Axtell Off-Range Corrals and 45 horses to Delta WHB Facility; a total of 84 shipped today.
About 27 observers at trap, 7 identified themselves as BLM or other gov related. Only 5 observers made the trip to holding.
July 14: pre-roundup
Our onsite observer, Marie Milliman, did a sweep of the area before the roundup. Her report notes gates and sagging barbed wire near the trap that is not flagged. If BLM expects wild horses to travel in that area, through the gates or over the wire, the barbed wire must be flagged. The purpose of the Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy (CAWP) is not to wait until an issue arises, but to prevent potential for injury. We did make a comment to BLM. We will be on the look out tomorrow for potential issues.
The range is pretty “cow bashed” with swaths of invasive plants like cheat grass and halogeton. Bands of wild horses were observed, on both sides of the drooping barbed wire, moving in to water. Domestic livestock were noted at water sources and around the temporary holding corrals. Trap site was located. The location raising concerns over placement, location of wild horses and the barbed wire.
Roundup begins in the morning.
Range Creek roundup reports: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2020/07/03/range-creek-roundup/
Take ACTION on the budget debate in Congress: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2020/07/11/are-you-confused-by-the-budget-debate-its-not-over/