The Triple B roundup is set to begin this Friday. The BLM is targeting another 1900 wild horses in the Triple B Complex area. Triple B complex comprises about 2 million acres. The target for the complex is low AML of 531.
They are using a 2017 document as justification for the removal. Under the 2017 gather plan, BLM has run removals in both the Triple B Complex and the Antelope Complex. The document covers an area larger than Connecticut and Rhode Island, separated by highways, combined into one document that targets thousands of wild horses over a ten-year period. (You can see the Environmental Assessment HERE)
These ten-year removal plans are NOT management plans. These plans are designed to remove horses to allow expansion of industry that rapidly changes the environment the gather plan is based on. (Our legal team has sent a letter to BLM calling them out on NEPA inadequacies. More on that soon.)
BLM has skipped creating Herd Management Area Plans (HMAP) for the HMAs in this complex. Because the agency skips these critical plans (the only plan codified into law for wild horses) we have been unable to mitigate damages to the herds in these areas as BLM continues to approve more and more gifts to livestock and mining expansion without taking extreme action. (One win, a mine shuts down due to a large group effort involving environmentalists, tribes and WHE.)
Many people do not understand that wild places, public lands, are being rapidly fragmented to suit mining and livestock. When you think of the acreage in a Herd Management Area (HMA) you need to understand they have been turning into dangerous mazes of widened roads and barbed wire.
These mazes cut wild horses off of critical grazing, historic seasonal movement and, most of all, water. Mines use massive amounts of water and livestock waters are fenced or turned off as water tables drop. BLM may approve a wildlife guzzler; but the guzzler will have pipe panels around it so deer, antelope, small mammals can get in… but horses can’t. An HMAP could require mines and livestock to drop wells or create seeps wild horses can reach.
Our team member, just yesterday, saw a wild horse limping on the range that apparently tried to navigate a cattle guard as his band tries to move through the ever increasing maze on the range. An HMAP could get openings in fences where wild horses can move throughout the HMA and get some of those incredibly dangerous cattle guards removed or replaced with ones with extra rebar to allow wild horses to cross in a safer fashion.
When horses are hit on the road by mine trucks racing for a shift change or to dump a load of rock; wild horses are considered a safety hazard on the road BLM approved right through critical wild horse habitat. An HMAP could have moved the road by identifying seasonal movement or critical habitat.
Heavily pregnant mares are out on the Triple B range, like they are all over the West today (picture above from yesterday). Another failure of the agency is that they define “foaling season” based more on historic contractor availability than they do on any data of foaling season for a herd. One of the things and HMAP is supposed to define is actual foaling season.
The mare above will be stampeded through a maze of barbed wire, mine traffic, etc. on Friday.
These ten-year “gather plans” are the gateway to rapid removals without further analysis and go hand-in-hand with the BLM 2020 plan to move to the lowest numbers (AML) they can without ever creating any actual management plan to protect herd and habitat.
Notice: The wild horses in Triple B (and all of Nevada) face a new threat from a project called “Greenlinks.” Greenlinks is essentially an energy transmission line to feed the electric hungry industries growing in places like the Virginia Range in NV, like Bitcoin and Tesla.
You can attend a virtual meeting July 27. You can sign up HERE.
As we published this piece on wild horses at Triple B, E&E published a piece on pronghorn in Wyoming and how thoughtless placement of a solar project fractured a migratory route causing pronghorn to use a highway. Wild horses can’t get to a highway… they meet a helicopter. (E&E piece HERE)
We will have more for you from our on-range team and legal team later this week.
Help keep us in the fight.
In 2018 we did a digital magazine to talk a bit about the wild horses that live in Triple B and what was headed their way.
Note: Sage grouse are a very sensitive species. The sage grouse that lived in this area could not be found by our team this week. In addition, we only found two small groups of about 20 pronghorn each… where we used to see hundreds.
Categories: Wild Horse Education