Wild Horse Education

4 Water Emergency Removals in Nevada (why we need actual management)


Our teams have been out monitoring areas neglected by BLM for years

There are 4 active emergency removals due to water issues in Nevada. All of these removals are taking place in areas where these issues are ongoing and never actually addressed in management.

In technical terms what we see, repeatedly in the agency, is reactive use of authorities without proactive use of authorities through management planning. The agency is mandated to manage, removal is an authority. This distinction will become more evident as we brief you on these removals.

  1. NV: 360 are being removed from the Triple B complex (Triple B and Maverick Medicine)
  2. NV: 50 are being removed from Deer Springs in the Antelope Complex
  3. NV: 125 are being removed from the Nevada wild horse range
  4. NV: 50 horses, 25 burros, Montezuma Peak 

Our teams are really working hard after roundups, dealing with the chaos of Congress (and all the well paid lobbyists) and trying to document the absolute abuse of our wild horses on the range by BLM (particularly the state of Nevada) through neglect in management. We hope this fast article is coherent. You can mail questions to: Laura@WildHorseEducation.org. We are planning to do a “video blog” entry to address questions later this week and will try to include yours. 

None of the above “emergency” removals on this list are a surprise. Our teams are closely monitoring 7 more areas that could “go downhill fast” if there is no rainfall. 

All of these areas are in the state of Nevada. Nevada manages 83 Herd Management Areas (HMAs) and only one, the Pine Nuts, has  an active management plan (Herd Management Area Plan, HMAP).

BLM NV is notorious for skirting public involvement in process, not answering valid questions in any form (and never timely), an abysmal record on humane handling at roundups (all of our court orders were gained against Nevada), hiding handling during helicopter captures, etc.

The most egregious of all is how BLM wild horse and burro staff repeatedly fail in monitoring and anything that even remotely resembles actual management. 

Two of the emergency operations are in an area that the BLM lumped into one massive “roundup EA.” It consists of 2 “complexes,” of 7 individual HMAs ,and covers square acreage larger than if you combined Delaware and Rhode Island.

BLM lumped every possible thing they could “copy/paste” into a behemoth of a “gather plan.” That is not what that part of process was intended for. Only an actual roundup is supposed to be in a “gather EA.” Actual management is supposed to be in the Herd Management Area Plan. None of these HMAs have one and the laziest route of all was taken. If BLM wanted to do such an EA, it is absolutely not appropriate to the size and number of wild horses involved (scope and intensity). But, the court case that went against the EA (not ours, we could not afford one at that time, litigation is very expensive) claimed  that “gelding” was the “scope”. The case lost, terrible precedent set and there was no push to get BLM to create an actual management plan.

BLM is getting away with being lazy. All of their “authorities” are in the massive roundup EA and their feet were never held to the fire on the mandate of management. ( To quote Velma Johnston at the time of her death “Yes, I’m angry.” )

Most often it is not the thing you may find upsetting that will help you win the case and stop it. The case against “the spay experiment” was not won on spaying, it was won using Wild Horse Educations massive First Amendment win as a base of law; “if you are going to do it, we need to see it.” It was not a win against spaying itself, it was actually a First Amendment victory.

Words really matter in the fight. The ones you need to remember now are BLM is mandated to manage and fails. Most of you are already asking for a chance to participate in scoping for an HMAP, even if you do not know it. Forage allocations, genetic preservation defined, AML evaluations, some of the land off limits to destruction for profit, etc. is all supposed to take place in the HMAP. We do not even have that ground to fight in the overwhelming majority of our herds. BLM has denied us that step in process.

BLM has also approved mine expansions, is on the verge of beginning others, in the areas of all of these “water emergency” removals. BLM does not mitigate the damage to habitat and our recourse is very limited because they did not create an actual management plan to address the issue, the way it was intended. Was the HMAP avoided on purpose?

BLM will claim an outrageous “over AML” of 300-800%. If it takes this long to get into this condition, the AML was too low. If BLM keeps giving away the resources to mining and livestock, without ever creating the management plan to preserve the herd and habitat, those ridiculously low AMLs will one day be real.

We hope the above makes sense. Wild horses are not in trouble due to these assertions of “overpopulation” that shift the blame into a place the wild horse pays the price. The blame falls squarely on BLM for failures to manage, protect and preserve.

We have been trying to find ways to help our wild ones where the battle begins. In recent times we have joined environmental groups, openly and simply to assist, in legal actions against habitat encroachment.

One example is the fight against a water permit that will draw down the water table in the Antelope Complex (one of the areas on the list above) where we have joined a very unique group representing tribal, environment, endangered species and wild horses.  Another example is where we have provided baseline standing in a fight against oil and gas that will hit another herd (Pancake) where BLM has failed miserably to protect the herd from trespass livestock, rapid expansion of mining and now oil and gas.

We continue to offer assistance to craft the HMAPs to BLM. BLM keeps refusing. Yet, backdoor deals continue with others, mines keep being fast tracked (and writing a great deal of their own NEPA), livestock still runs in trespass.

Congress is set to throw more money at more “tools” for BLM. Without management planning that funding wont change anything in the lives of the wild.

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.

Click HERE and learn and take action today! 

Or take our “fast action.” We really are up against massive corporate lobby groups, with less than honest intentions.

Click HERE.

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.


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Categories: Wild Horse Education