Roundup season has begun. WHE were the only observers at the beginning of the season at Reveille. Our teams have moved into the Antelope Complex.
The roundup in the Antelope Complex has begun. Traps are set to begin the capture over 3000 wild horses in the complex. This operation will be the largest (and longest) roundup of this season.
The complex spans over 1,183,000 acres. BLM says only 472-826 wild horses can exist in the complex.
We will link our team daily updates onto this page as they come in from the field with stats and our team coverage. We will be running two distinct update pages, one for the north and one for the south.
Link to our 2021 team coverage from Antelope HERE.
To run this roundup, BLM is using a 2017 document as justification for the removal and “appropriate analysis.” This Environmental Assessment (EA) is the largest in the US, spanning acreage larger than the land base of Rhode Island and Connecticut combined. BLM says only 472-826 wild horses can be sustained in the entire complex.
BLM appears to no longer issue what is called a “Decision of NEPA Adequacy” or “DNA” to demonstrate that years old “analysis of data” still applies. Although in press releases for this operation BLM notes “determination of National Environmental Policy Act adequacy,” they simply link to the 2017 EA. We inquired to see if BLM actually performed the DNA process, they did not. (We add this for those of you following our federal court challenges that include “calling out” BLM on the failures to provide DNA analysis. Those cases are moving through the courts. A decision in those cases could impact multiple removals BLM plans under old “ten-year gather plans.” The cases are active and we will continue to update you soon as we move toward final judgements)
Under this single “Gather-EA” of 2017, BLM has run removals in both the Triple B and Antelope Complexes. (You can see the Environmental Assessment HERE)
Under this EA, BLM has captured nearly 6,700 wild horses to date. The current operation will bring the total to near 10,000 captured since 2017. Many of these large areas do not get ongoing public attention when the chopper lands. But areas like these are the last in the U.S. that could truly support large herds.
In previous years BLM ran roundups in the complex as a single operation. This time, due to the size of the complex, BLM is running two roundups at the same time; one roundup will hit the HMAs in the north, the other the HMAs in the south, simultaneously. BLM will be running 2 crews and so will will WHE.
Antelope South: The Antelope and Antelope Valley HMAs encompass nearly 503,000 acres of public and private lands. BLM claims the Antelope HMA can sustain an Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 150-324 wild horses. BLM says the Antelope Valley HMA (east of U.S. Highway 93) can only sustain an AML of 37 wild horses.
BLM says a helicopter survey conducted in March 2023 documented 2,122 wild horses within and directly outside the herd management areas – nearly eleven-times above the low end of the established management level. However, BLM will not release the actual data.
BLM will capture 1,107 wild horses from Antelope and Antelope Valley HMAs and treat up to 15 previously-treated mares in the Water Canyon area with the fertility control vaccine GonaCon Equine before releasing them back to the range. Water Canyon is a pilot project being done under a cooperative agreement with a group in that area.
Antelope North: The Antelope North HMAs encompass over 852,340 acres of public and private lands. Goshute HMA has an Appropriate Management Level set by BLM of of 73-124 wild horses. Spruce Pequop HMA has an AML of 57-82 wild horses and the Antelope Valley HMA has an AML of 155-259.
BLM states that a March 2023 estimated population is 6,852 and claims it is over 14 times what “the land can sustain.” BLM has not released the actual data from that flyover.
BLM plans to capture and remove 2,000 wild horses from the Antelope Valley (west of Alt. U.S. Hwy 93), Goshute and Spruce Pequop Herd Management Areas (HMA)s.
The total planned for capture in 2023 from Antelope is 3,107.
We will add two distinct update pages as reports begin to come in from the operation.
Video from the last roundup in the area in 2021.
Take Action! Contact your representatives as they hammer out the budget for the 2024 fiscal year (begins in October). This 4-step action plan begins with a simple click and send, moves onto a letter sand a call and completes with a meeting with your reps. You can take one step, or all of them. But please, take action HERE.
Thank you for keeping us in the fight!
If you are shopping online you can help Wild Horse Education by choosing us as your charity of choice on IGive
Categories: Wild Horse Education