The Cedar Mountain Roundup in Utah has begun. The first two days of the operation were in areas that included the Dugway military grounds. Many of you are familiar with this area because it also overlaps with the more well-known Onaqui herd. The Cedar Mountains overlaps 2 military installations; Dugway and the Utah Test Range (formerly called the Wendover range) that borders Nevada.
Scroll to red text for roundup updates.
At Wild Horse Education we call Cedar Mountain “Onaqui West.” The data and historical information show that (prior to all the habitat fragmentation) these areas were essentially one Herd Area (HA). However, BLM treated them separately and so did the public; planning for management has been distinct for each area. BLM abandoned updating the HMAP in the early 90’s and jumped into doing “Gather-EAs” that inhibited the public from commenting on anything except “population control.”
On August 18, the BLM approved the Cedar Mountain Herd Management Area Population Control Plan. This is another ten-year removal plan, not a management plan. Any comment outside the scope of removal/fertility control was not considered relevant. How can any claim of management by BLM be taken seriously if they do not allow input on management, just removal?
The NEPA process (the paperwork process) then allowed 30 days for any appeal of the plan to be filed. BLM put the roundup on the schedule before that period expired and began the roundup the day that period expired. It took us the full 30 days to write a case against the planning document and we filed the day the chopper took off and have not had time to do an article on the appeal. WHE is on file against this ten-year plan. It continues to be a real problem as the agency runs over the public right to legally challenge incomplete management planning… racing to reach their accelerated removal goals.
The approved plan does not include any protection of habitat or range improvements: “…conduct gathers, administer population growth suppression (PGS) vaccines, utilize intrauterine devices (IUDs), and equip wild horses with global positioning system (GPS) tracking units (either collar or tag) and remove excess wild horses within and outside of the Cedar Mountain HMA to an AML of 190-390 individuals through one or more gathers. The target population will be low- to mid-Appropriate Management Level.”
EDITED 9/29: BLM has confirmed that the intention is to select 50 mares and treat with GonaCon (vaccine & booster shot) then released back onto the range along with 12 additional studs (bringing the total number released to 100, BLM released 38 studs already).
Many of you have written to us saying that you heard this will be a PZP treatment and then darting, so we checked. We confirmed BLM will be using GonaCon.
The HMA totals about 211,592 acres and the goal is to leave about 200 wild horses inside the HMA boundaries. BLM is targeting 700 for capture under the plan approved last month and rushed into execution. Wild horses will be shipped to the “off-limits” to the public holding facility in Axtell.
Captured: 638 Wild Horses (243 Stallions, 250 Mares, and 127 Foals)
Shipped: 592 Wild Horses (204 Stallions, 258 Mares, and 130 Foals)
Released: 38 Studs
A 20-year-old stud put down (BLM reported) due to complete blindness in the right eye; 7-year-old put down due to a broken hind leg; 5-year-old stud was humanely euthanized due to a missing portion of his bottom lip diagnosed as cancer; 20-year-old stud was humanely euthanized due to a swollen left knee that was immobile with no chance of recovery; 20-year-old stud was humanely euthanized due to front legs that were deformed in the knees and hocks; 18-year-old stud was humanely euthanized due to partial blindness in both eyes; A 16-year-old stud fractured its neck after hitting a panel during sorting; 1-year-old filly was not barring any weight on her front right leg causing lameness.
We will update when we are notified what type of fertility control will be applied to mares before release, and how many will be released.
Newest reports will appear at the top. Scroll for earlier reports.
Sept 27: 77 horses (71 Studs, 0 Mares, and 0 Foals) shipped to Axtell. 1 death reported; a 1-year-old filly was not barring any weight on her front right leg causing lameness.
Sept 26: 17 captured. 71 Horses (71 Studs, 0 Mares, and 0 Foals) shipped. Another death reported: A 16-year-old stud fractured its neck after hitting a panel during sorting.
There will be one last day at Cedar. The rest of the horses need to ship. We will update as soon as possible.
Sept. 25: Operations at Dugway military proving ground, no public observation. 78 Wild Horses (32 Studs, 29 Mares, and 17 Foals) captured, 4 deaths: A 5-year-old stud was humanely euthanized due to a missing portion of his bottom lip diagnosed as cancer; 20-year-old stud was humanely euthanized due to a swollen left knee that was immobile with no chance of recovery; 20-year-old stud was humanely euthanized due to front legs that were deformed in the knees and hocks; 18-year-old stud was humanely euthanized due to partial blindness in both eyes.
Sept 24: Operations at Dugway military proving ground, no public observation. 80 Wild Horses (39 Studs, 26 Mares, and 15 Foals) were captured. 1 death reported: 7-year-old stud was put down due to a broken hind leg.
85 Wild Horses (34 Studs, 35 Mares, and 16 Foals) were captured today.
99 Horses (0 Studs, 26 Mares, and 73 Foals) were shipped to off-limits to the public holding. Viewing to observe loading was facilitated… if you want to call it viewing. Trucks were moved into place and observers were not allowed to move to a new viewing location, but could shift position slightly in their location across the road. This contractor has been known to use electric shock on the right side of the loading chute (the side we can’t see). They use modified cattle loading ramps with low bars. They also use a modified double-decker trailer (to single level). We believe this equipment was cheaper for a newer contractor to purchase.
What we can tell you about shipping is that younger wild horses were loaded onto a stock trailer, not a semi.
Operations move back to military land tomorrow and no further viewing of operations will be permitted.
119 Wild Horses (38 Studs, 60 Mares, and 21 Foals) were captured at two trap locations. The first trap, wild horses repeatedly tried to escape and took a dangerous path to evade capture. A foal was separated and ran into trap and an adult was roped in the trap after part of the band made an escape.
The second trap offered a view of the run along the fence, little of the drive path, no visibility of capture pens. It was extremely late and darkness was falling as observers went to holding.
21 Wild Horses (11 Studs, 8 Mares, and 2 Foals) were captured at a new trap location. There were only 3 runs (4, 8, 9). Trap may move again in the morning.
Much needed rain moved in during. This contractor (Sampson) uses cattle equipment modified for wild horses. This includes a double decker cattle truck modified to be a single decker and the loading chute still contains low, right angled, overhead bars. Overhead bars at holding show padding that appears to have been repaired since Buffalo Hills. Overhead padding has been one of the issues that has been hard to enforce in the CAWP policy for many districts and contractors.
14 Wild Horses (6 Studs, 5 Mares, and 3 Foals) were captured at the same trap location as yesterday. One of the foals looked very young.
BLM is leaning toward using GonaCon on the wild horses set to be released at Cedar. There is a possibility of overlap in populations with the Onaqui wild horses where PZP and sex-skewing have been utilized (along with helicopter captures) as “population growth suppression.” GonaCon is a hormone-based vaccine that BLM utilizes through a method that provides two doses in a 30-day period. This method can cause permanent infertility. GonaCon can also be darted in a single dose formula. At Onaqui BLM has used 2 forms of PZP: the 1 year dartable formula and the longer lasting PZP-22 (18-24 months). The agency has also approved the use of various other forms of fertility control including I.U.D. in Cedar.
In the last few years BLM has been approving ten-year population growth suppression plans that have omitted any analysis that includes the mixing of multiple stressors caused by a mishmash of fertility control, beyond slowing population growth levels.
WHE has appealed the plan approved last month. We need management, not an acceleration of methods to reduce populations down to levels determined by the politics of the 1970s and 80s.
Sept 19: First day the public is allowed to observe. WHE has representation on the ground that reported in via cell (a rare instance of cell service at trap). By noon today, about 46 have been captured and the chopper is still in the air.
At the end of the day 56 Wild Horses (23 Studs, 20 Mares, and 13 Foals) were captured.
Sept. 18: 59 Wild Horses (20 Studs, 23 Mares, and 16 Foals) captured from the military zone at Dugway. 78 Horses (10 Studs, 44 Mares, and 24 Foals) shipped to Axtell.
Sept. 17: 108 Wild Horses (40 Studs, 44 Mares, and 24 Foals) captured from the Dugway zone. No public observation allowed.
You can learn more about a bill that could stop choppers and gain a real review of capture methods, CLICK HERE.
You can help us gain a science-based review of the BLM Wild Horse and Burro program, CLICK HERE.
We need your help to take the fight against abuse to the next level. CLICK HERE.
A WHE report that can help you address the inflated numbers game presented to Congress/media as you advocate for wild horses, CLICK HERE.
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Categories: Wild Horse Education