Wild Horse Education

Last Trap (Surprise)

The last trap, of the last day, as the sun sets during the last run.

93 (36 stallions, 43 mares, 14 foals) wild horses were captured on one of the longest days of any roundup we have attended. The last run came in at 4:42 p.m. Our team member left the range (a 2 hour drive back out and to room) as the agency apparently finished processing in the dark or by headlights.

To date: 1216  (484 stallions, 528 mares and 204 foals) captured, 95 (61 stallions, 34 Mares treated with PZP) released, 20 deaths. (see ongoing team reports)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The trap was set where wild horse studs were released just a few days ago, the agency said they were pulling horses “from another direction.” It had rained and snowed in the area and our observer was concerned that horses trapped and released, could be trapped again, as the paint used to mark is water soluble.

Low “Appropriate Management Level” (AML) was the objective for each Herd Management Area (HMA) in the complex:

Massacre Lakes: 25 – 45 on 39,926 acres

Bitner: 15 – 25 on 53,732 acres

Nut Mountain: 30 – 55 on 40,236 acres

Wall Canyon: 15 – 25 on 41,152 acres

High Rock: 78 – 120 on 94,689 acres

Fox Hog: 120 – 226 on 126,939 acres

Below: a beautiful little palomino said “not today” to the choppers and the roping crew. The last escapee of the 2021 roundup.

From the EA, with an edit by WHE: “The aggregate AML range within the Complex is 283-496 wild horses and zero burros, although burros have been observed in the Complex. The AML upper limit is the sum total of the maximum number of wild horses that the Complex can support while maintaining a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple relationships with our number one customer the ‘livestock use relationship’ on the BLM-administered lands in each of the HMAs in the area.”

The “Path Forward” multi-million dollar lobbyist document charted this path backwards for our wild ones. First titled “Ten Years to AML” corporate interests got together and decided how they could all financially benefit claiming “boots-on-the-ground” organizations knew nothing compared to what they knew (because money equates with credibility in their world). Give away the range to livestock and sell subsidized adoptions and change title transfer language (so entities, and not just individuals, could adopt) and sell PZP-22. For them this was a “win, win.”

Below: White stud tries to escape, gets his leg caught in the panel and finally frees himself as he he repeatedly flagged. Will this blue-eyed beauty be released? We do not know.  (Light change and distance effected pictures)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fragments of the herds will be released, mares treated with PZP-22 (vaccine lasts 18-26 months, hence the name). People confuse “PZP” with a dart gun. PZP is a substance, a dart gun is a method. PZP is primarily used the way you see it used at Surprise.

This roundup is  part of the plan that began as Ten Years to AML in 2016 (funded in 2021). Back then the public could not believe this was real. It was real. It is real. This is what it looks like in practice.

As we all deal with our frustration at the “corporate interests wild horses carry on their backs,” we must all remember we, at the ground level, are in this together. We must continue to work hard against abuse and for protection from industry on the land our wild ones stand.

The public, small on-ground orgs, are all left to clean up the wreckage “of the corporate deal” together.

There are still wild ones out there and they need our vigilance, commitment and voices.

There will always be some well-funded entity that wants to  “make a deal” to profit from some aspect of our public lands. The land and wild things will pay the ultimate price.  It is the nature of the fight to protect any wild thing.

There must always be public voices that work vigilantly for them.

You can see the ongoing team report from Surprise HERE. 

You can sign up to follow the news section on the website or to receive our newsletters HERE. 

We are back on-site today.


Categories: Wild Horse Education