We are getting a lot of questions about the roundup schedule.
The summer roundup schedule is in full swing. Our team has been in the field since the summer helicopter season began at Reveille, 46 days straight. In that time we have documented 3,072 wild horses captured. When Antelope completes, that will be half of the entire summer/fall schedule completed by the numbers.
At Antelope we have all watched, once again, how this big and remote areas are assigned the most inappropriate time of year for helicopter drives, July. July is still foaling/breeding season and with climate change battering onward, July roundups being placed on any schedule need to end.
WHE has filed a lawsuit challenging BLM on the fact that they have no enforceable welfare standard and that case is very much alive. Although the court did not formally sanction BLM at this time, things out here have slowed down. BLM is approved to continue removals in the Antelope Complex through the end of 2026. This gives us time to continue to fight for an enforceable welfare standard in the courts… for the wild ones at Antelope and beyond.
Yesterday, BLM captured two bands at Antelope in Nevada: 12 (2 Stallions, 7 Mares, and 3 Foals). There are 6 days left to the largest roundup of fiscal year 2023, the Antelope Complex. Our team remains onsite and will not leave until the operation ends.
In the first 10 days of this operation BLM captured 1243 wild horses and killed 13. So far 34 have died at the Antelope Complex, (It is important to remember that injury and illness is not counted, nor are deaths resulted from injury or illness at the roundup counted once the animals reach holding facilities.)
The 2023 Fiscal year ends in October. The 2024 fiscal year will fund removals that begin October 1, 2023, through September 2024.
One band was captured yesterday at Palomino Butte in Oregon: 6 (1 Stallion, 3 Mares, and 2 Foals); 142 have been captured to date with 0 deaths. Palomino Butte is expected to last 2 or 3 more days before BLM moves to Stinkingwater for 2 or 3 days (capture goal 85) and then to Hog Creek for 2 days (capture goal 66). (Update: Palomino Butte ended with 192 captured, 37 shy of goal. Operations move to Stinkingwater.)
After Oregon, BLM will move into Idaho. Hard Trigger and Black Mountain Environmental Assessment (EA) was drafted and open for comment through June 13. That draft was rushed to final version and published July 20. The Appeal period ends August 20. WHE has already filed our Appeal of that decision and we know a few others have as well. We will let you know what happens in Idaho, but it looks like BLM is setting up another long haul fight to protect the few herds left in Idaho.
Next up, BLM will hit the off Herd Management Area (HA) horses again in West Douglas for removal.
Sand Wash Basin is targeted for bait trapping. A well known herd many of you are familiar with in Colorado due to the darting program there and number of photographers that visit the small herd. We are sure you will be receiving adoption info soon from the groups if you want to adopt a Sand Wash horse.
Then BLM circles back to Desatoya in Nevada and then the NW corner of NV/NE corner of CA and hits Surprise and Calico for bigger numbers in vast spaces.
We do not know where BLM has approval for fiscal 2024 yet (beginning October 1). But you can bet another large herd will be on the schedule as foaling season (very pregnant mares) begins in late January through February.
People are asking us about McCullough Peaks. McCullough is NOT on the roundup schedule. After a scoping period earlier this year, BLM crafted the draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and had it out for public comment until July 12. The final plan has NOT even been released yet. WHE has gotten out comments in. (Please remember, the comment period is where you provide additional info or point out where BLM failed to follow their policies. The comment period is what sets up litigation. McCullough is an aging population that has a dedicated local following that has an agreement with BLM to dart PZP and, from what we hear, McCullough is not on a fast track for removal like the small Idaho herds are.)
As of this writing, McCullough is on the darting schedule, not the removal schedule.
As we all fight to stop and minimize mass removals of wild horses (that actually increase reproductive rates, NAS 2013) we are continuing the fight to gain enforceable welfare standards to stop abuse.
You can help. In addition to carrying litigation, we are crafting a packet to take to policy and lawmakers. You can send a letter to your representatives and demand that a line-item in the budget bill be designated for turning welfare standards into enforceable rules. You can also sign the cover letter we will add to the packet. (MORE info HERE)
A note to BLM: Once more, just for the record because we know BLM is reading this: We are NOT the ones taking pictures of the public (even without their knowledge) and putting them on websites and social media… BLM is. (We published an audio explanation of an incident where the BLM person in charge participated in dragging a mare by the neck until she collapsed. A public interview, with public employees, is what we published. If you take a job, particularly in public affairs, your job is to be in the public eye and you speak for the agency.)
You can show your support and help us keep our team in the field through the purchase of a “Stop Abuse” t-shirt. We have brought these shirts back for the next 2 weeks by request. Click HERE or on the image below.
Our wild ones should live free on the range with the families they hold dear. Our wild ones should also live without abuse.
Thank you for keeping us in the fight!
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Categories: Wild Horse Education