On October 22, BLM began the Roberts Mountain 2024 roundup. As of October 1, BLM is now being funded under the 2024 Appropriations bills that are the subject of ongoing contention in Congress.
BLM plans to capture approximately 1,106 wild horses, permanently remove approximately 1,068. They also plan to hit up to 19 mares with a heavy duty load of hormones (GonaCon) in a 2 dose regime that will stop ovulation for 5-10 years before being released back to the range along with up to 19 stallions.
Scroll down for roundup updates.
BLM is calling this the “Roberts Mountain Complex” roundup, but this is really the Kobeh roundup. You can learn more in “Roberts and Rocky and Kobeh, Oh My!” an article that discusses the severely flawed history of the area and, how the BLM field office is well aware but is plowing forward anyway. (Find the article HERE)
At Robert’s, BLM admitted the underlying deficits when they began scoping to update the Resource Management Plan (RMP) back in 2012. In 2013, they even began creating maps to fix it (as scoping was underway and WHE participated). Then they said they did not have the money to do the RMP revision… but could do an HMAP to start an amendment to the RMP (often instead of redoing and entire RMP, BLM will create a specific decision that amends an RMP so something like a mine can go in using new methods, etc. and could do the same for wild horses). WHE participated for 4 years gather data and historic info for the HMAP that would inform the RMP revision (as the law and handbook intended).
In 2016, BLM began actively engaging in a private sector agenda that was called “Ten Years to AML” and creating a preferred partner list. By 2018 the plan was incorporated into BLMs report to Congress under a new name, Path Forward.
When that happened, anyone working with BLM on anything other than “expanding fertility control” and was trying to fix actual management planning, was booted out the door and a new round of ten year “gather plans” were finalized. A “gather environmental assessment” limits public participation to population control only. If you want to comment in forage allocation, range improvement, boundary lines, etc., none of that is allowed on a gather plan.
BLM plans to continue this “gather plan” for the next ten-years at Roberts. We have an active underlying case that has NOT been fully adjudicated. However, BLM is plowing forward anyway running over any interest that does not have a million dollar bank account proving that BLM feels the work of the justice system only belongs to the deepest pockets. (Note this area has extensive mining and livestock use and the Greenlinks transmission line is planned to run through the south of this area.)
We want BLM to fix the flaws in the system BEFORE they do more damage with removals, things like GonaCon and fragmenting this habitat that was designated for use by wild horses even further. However, in court filings, BLM claims they can take drastic action first and then fix the flaws they already know about… simply because they can.
Our fight against this ten-year gather plan (shameful debacle) continues. In May WHE filed an Appeal and BLM plowed ahead without waiting for a decision. We have filed additional documents.
BLM has stopped the operation 248 shy of the goal on November 5.
In the first removal operation under this ten-year plan, BLM intends to capture 1,106 wild horses, permanently remove approximately 1,068, treat up to 19 mares with GonaCon Equine (heavy double dose of hormones).
BLM has stopped the operation 248 shy of the goal on November 5.
Captured: 858 Wild Horses (338 Stallions, 397 Mares, and 123 Foals)
Shipped to off-limits to the public Axtell corrals, Utah (About 5.5 hours from temporary corrals):774 Wild Horses (287 Stallions, 368 Mares, and 119 Foals)
Deaths: 9. BLM said, “18-year old Stallion blind in one eye and aggressive. 20-year old sorrel Mare broke her neck during loading for shipping. 15 year-old bay, sorrel humanely euthanized due to pre-existing blindness in right eye, 9 year-old mare, sorrel pre-existing blind left eye. 2 year-old palomino mare, pre-existing chronic condition severe club foot on both hind legs, 15 year-old bay mare, pre-existing condition severe blindness, 17 year-old palomino mare, pre-existing condition severe blindness.”
BLM is not including the 7 that died due to an accident where the semi flipped onto its side during transport. Transport trucks often need to do long distance round trips and we have followed them, usually considerably exceeding the speed limits.
Our teams are in field and will update cumulative totals after BLM posts daily final numbers.
Dailies (Scroll down for earlier reports)
110523: 30 (16 Stallions, 10 Mares, and 4Foals) captured. BLM has stopped the roundup.
110423: 11 (3 Stallions, 8 Mares, and 0 Foals) captured
110323: 11 year-old sorrel mare, BLM said “pre-existing blindness in left eye, euthanized.” 12 (4 Stallions, 7 Mares, and 1 Foals) captured.
110223: 44 (20 Stallions, 21 Mares, and 3 Foals). 9-year old sorrel mare put down as BLM said she was blind in the left eye.
110123: 103 (39 Stallions, 53 Mares, and 11Foals)
103123: 69 (27 Stallions, 28 Mares, and 14 Foals)
103023: 25 (9 Stallions, 13 Mares, and 3 Foals). “A contracted semi-truck transporting horses gathered during the ongoing Roberts Mountain Gather in Nevada to Utah’s Axtell Holding Corrals turned over on its side on Highway 50 outside of Delta, Utah, on October 30. The truck was transporting 36 horses. Three horses were killed in the accident, four were humanely euthanized due to their injuries, and many suffered minor cuts and bruises. BLM transported the 29 remaining horses to a holding facility in Delta where they continue to be evaluated and closely monitored by the on-site veterinarian. The driver was not injured. The cause of the accident is under investigation. ” (see article on the need for enforceable welfare rules including transport where drivers must make a round trip from range to facility often as much as 7 hours away)
102923: On a very cold day that began at 9 degrees, 53 (20 Stallions, 23 Mares, and 10 Foals) were captured.
102823: They pushed hard at trap and captured 114 (43 Stallions, 50 Mares, and 21 Foals) .
20+ year old, palomino stud broken leg escaping from trap (and then primarily out of view) in almost the identical fashion that Sunshine broke his leg in full view at Antelope.
102723: 17 (6 Stallions, 9 Mares, and 2 Foals) captured as a cold front settles in for a few days and dawn will be well below freezing.
90 (34 Stallions, 38 Mares, and 18 Foals) were caught on the second day of trap 2.
Above: The wild ones from Roberts are beautiful horses. They are being shipped to an off-limits facility where we cannot check on their welfare or even get tag numbers for prospective adopters.
Trap moved today, but stayed in the area of expanding mining. High wind and cold weather hit much of Nevada yesterday and trap location was no exception.
47 (17 Stallions, 23 Mares, and 7 Foals) were captured before the day was called for wind.
67 (31 Stallions, 27 Mares, and 9 Foals) captured.
BLM ran a 3rd day to “squeeze” or trap as many as possible from this area. The plane spraying weed killer was still visible. It looks like expanding mining is heading in fast.
Video below: Wild horses being captured. As they are being loaded for transport to the temporary corrals, big rig mining equipment is allowed to drive in and offload just feet from the trap pens. At this trap, observers that are over half a mile away were told to remain still, quiet and even to crouch down so they do not disturb the horses.
An elevated viewing area at temporary was provided (even more important now that BLM is allowing yellow tarps instead of snow fencing by a few of their contractors.
Video shows that for the most part, wild horses were moved orderly. There were moments of crowding in the alley. You could see where several horses look like they had been “dipped in liquid and floured” from the helicopter drive, trailering to temporary corrals and the dust also present in the gravel pit. The beauty of Roberts Mountain horses could be seen regardless of the circumstances,
Holding slideshow below.
Trap moves tomorrow.
2 deaths, BLM said, “Stallion blind in one eye and aggressive. Mare broke her neck during loading for shipping.” (Apparently, someone is once again telling BLM that we are writing things that we did not. The text of our description of the broken neck is unchanged from what we originally published. Someone is telling BLM that we write “exerted pressure” and mare broke her neck. We never said that, we were not at loading to ship. This seems to happen a lot when certain individuals are present and it creates compounded and unnecessary drama and BLM takes it out on our observers when what they are being “scolded for” never happened.)
Below: “Scene” of trap location, distance and viewing.
90 wild horses captured as plane continues to spray the equivalent of “Roundup” weed killer to “mitigate” the environmental damage done by mining and spreading weeds (in others words, spraying Roundup makes damage go away, according to the 2022 Gold Bar mining EIS update of 2022. and many of you will remember Mt Hope (a moly mine that has been contentious for years); both of these impact the area.
Below: You can see a section of barbed wire being dropped so horses can be run through the section to trap. Sides of wire were not flagged. Horses were run passed observers and into trap where it appears they are using flapping tarps to urge horses to climb up hill into trailer and then using the gate (doors of trailer) to move the last horses in.
BLM captured 86 wild horses. We will update when BLM posts official numbers.
Below: This small band seemed to defy the helicopter and was not captured. Our observer noted the horses seemed a bit “wet and powdered” like they had been dipped and floured. However, she could not tell if it was sweat or fall-out from the mine spraying “weed killer” in nearby valleys from a yellow plane. Essentially, BLM has approved the spraying of “Roundup” from the air on many public ranges and no public notice is required. Spraying Roundup to kill weeds id part of what BLM calls “mitigation” for the damage caused by mining.
BLM said that was what he was spraying after appearing not to know why the plane was in the air. If BLM did an EA for spraying that would have included dates, why did BLM set trap in the area on these days? Just the way BLM seems to plan, or not plan, everything.
Cell phone video below of the plane spraying weed killer taken from trap location.
BLM has not provided an elevated area to see temporary holding corrals after allowing an opaque tarp. (Many of you remember there was a time BLM agreed to use transparent black material type tarps and then simply seemed to forget and allow these yellow tarps.)
We have extensive video that we are editing from Roberts today. We are also still loading video from the Moriah roundup that ended on October 22.
Our wild ones should live free on the range with the families they hold dear. Our wild ones should also live without abuse.
WHE carries ongoing litigation to force BLM into open public process to create an enforceable welfare standard for our treasured wild ones. WHE carries ongoing litigation to hold BLM accountable. Our wild ones need data-based on-range planning (BLM has scant data, science and basic management planning) and transparency.
Thank you for keeping us in the fight!
As holiday shopping begins, you might be able to find a gift for yourself or the horse lover in your life at our WHE storefront on Zazzle. All proceeds support our work for our wild ones. HERE.
Categories: Wild Horse Education