Wild Horse Education

Owyhee, week 2 begins (roundup update & budget buzz)

Week 2 of the Owyhee Complex roundup is underway.

Yesterday, 76 wild horses were captured from the Little Owyhee HMA. This brings the total captured at the operation to 305 of the 947 targeted. (You can see our ongoing reports from our on-site observer HERE)

Below: Mare comes in with two foals, probably as she lagged back from the big grouping of multiple bands to stay with the babies.

Most often mares are separated from foals before loading onto a trailer. The foal will be put back with wet mares at the temporary corrals if BLM decides they are too young to wean. These two are probably beginning weaning at the trap, wont be back with mares, and will then be shipped 8 hours away to an off-limits-to-public-view facility in Utah (In other words, we can not track down tag numbers for those of you that would email asking to adopt them. We probably won’t see them again, except perhaps at an Adoption Incentive Program event where they are just a tag number from Owyhee that will be dumped in an auction after the adopter collects a thousand taxpayer dollars as a “thank-you” for helping to empty pens.)

What does it look like when BLM separates the mares from foals? The darker baby had already been moved. This is the mare being loaded and separated from the cremello/palomino little one. note: On Oct 20, BLM said the dark mare in this video is a foal.

Our team member went out today to document temporary holding as the agency will not facilitate observation at trap today stating “The trap is on private property and only Tuesday and Thursday are ‘ok’ with landowner for observers.”


Budget Buzz:

We see press releases flying using the word “Reform.”

The definition of the word Reform, as a noun, “the action or process of reforming an institution or practice.”

We do not see the budget as “Reform” and find the use of the word a bit off-mark (and just coped and pasted from a press release they received from the people promoting the bill) in the media. We see the budget as a continuation of the 2020 plan with designated funding for the increased use of fertility control that. the plan, approved in 2020, calls for. If you read the language you will probably come to that same conclusion.

People are posting on social media that roundups are ending, forage and AML are being reformed, etc. Nothing of that sort is actually happening.

The Language

The Senate Committee approved the House language and funding amounts in the House Committee bill:

Wild Horse and Burro Management.—The Committee recommends $162,093,000 which supports implementation of the May 2020 plan and includes $11,000,000 for administration of and research on reversible immunocontraceptive fertility control; and $504,000 to transition to a zero emission fleet.

Also included:

  • The Committee directs the Secretary to establish a task force to bring experts from all Interior bureaus together to address the challenge of wild horses and burros.
  • The Bureau of Land Management is directed to use $11,000,000 of the funds appropriated for this program to enter cooperative efforts with other Federal partners to significantly progress the administration of and research on reversible immunocontraceptive fertility control. This should include public-private partnerships and simultaneous evaluation of multiple fertility control alternatives at a meaningful scale. (in layman terms, the grant program where applications needed to be submitted by March 2021)
  • To tackle this challenge, the Bureau needs to focus on achieving a sustainable Appropriate Management Level while ensuring that all removals are conducted in strict compliance with the Bureau’s Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program and any population growth suppression strategies must be proven, safe, and humane. 

The “task force” will continue to contain the same well-funded elites that the Path Forward group represents.

The 2022 budget is essentially the same direction as the 2021, with the exception that $11 million in “fertility control” be spent on PZP as opposed to other substances.


The 2023 budget debate will head into full-swing in January. That is when all the lobbyists head in to see Congress. Next year is an election year and pressure will be on Congress to raise funding and keep their seats. Last month we wrote an article about the end of the 2022 debate and things we should all start pushing on for the 2023 budget, HERE.


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Categories: Wild Horse Education