Pilot Mountain, NV 2010

Reposted from Laura Leigh’s Blog
Pilot Mtn cancelled


Wild and Free

Tonights email update:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dear Pilot Mountain HMA Observers & Interested Parties: Effective
immediately, Terri Knutson, BLM-Stillwater Field Office Manager, has
cancelled further gather operations of the Pilot Mountain HMA Gather.

The gather contractor conducted an aerial reconnaissance over the area
Saturday and found fewer wild horses in the HMA than predicted. Based on
this reconnaissance and ground observations by BLM staff, and the feeling
that our HMA census data had been inadvertently interpreted as having
included the 104 wild horses currently residing outside the HMA on the
Hawthorne Army Depot, Terri decided to cancel further operations and
release the contractor.

A new aerial population census flight will be scheduled by BLM in the
future to accurately determine if current population numbers of horses
within the HMA are within the Appropriate Management Level.

The nine horses that were held overnight at the temporary corrals were
released this morning without the mares being treated with PZP. The gather
contractor is removing the temporary corrals and Saturday’s trap site.

With the termination of further gather operations the planned
guided-observation days on November 30-December 1 are also cancelled.

The Wild Horse Gather Information Line will updated for the final time
today for the Pilot Mountain Gather.

Thank you for your continued interest in the gathers on our District. I
will keep you all on my interested observers list and get back in touch
with you as the scheduled catch/treat/release gather in the Clan Alpine HMA
approaches in February.

Mark Struble
Public Affairs Officer
BLM-Carson City District Office


These emails were exchanged yesterday about the roundup progress. No public was allowed to observe until Tuesday, now cancelled. My response below.
Date: 11/27/2010 06:56PM
Subject: Saturday, November 27 Gather Update – Pilot Mountain Herd Management Area

Dear Pilot Mountain HMA Observers & Interested Parties: gather operations started this morning on the north end of the Pilot Mountain HMA with the gather trap site at a barrow pit on a north-facing slope overlooking Gabbs Valley. The temporary holding corral is currently located off Finger Rock Road (road to Rawhide), 11.6 miles west of Nevada State Route 361 (Gabbs Highway). The intersectrion of Finger Rock Road and SR 361 is 19.3 miles north of US95 at Luning, Nevada.

Ten horses (six mares and four older foals of weanling age) were moved from the north end of the Gabbs Valley Range to the gather trap today. No injuries. One mare was determined to be too old for treatment with PZP-22 and was immediately released. The other nine horses will be held overnight pending PZP treatment of the mares.

The contractor conducted an extensive aerial reconnaissance over much of the area today and is finding fewer wild horses than expected. A lowering ceiling with snow showers did not help visibility today.

A more extensive aerial reconnaissance is being planned for Sunday morning to determine horse locations both within the HMA and nearby ranges to assist BLM managers in determining if further gather operations or PZP treatment of mares is warranted at this time.

The Wild Horse Gather Information Line has been updated for the day. More tomorrow. Have a great weekend. Mark

Mark Struble, Public Affairs Officer, BLM-Carson City District

My response:

It may seem like an odd question but why wasn’t the older mare held to be released with the other horses? You sent an old mare out on her own without her family after a stressful event.
One of my main concerns with current wild horse management techniques is that they fail to take into account the basic psychology of the animal being managed.
The family structure is obviously destroyed and no efforts are made to rectify this. To release an older mare without band members seems to be a further indication that this concept is not understood as it is presented as an almost “humane” step.
These roundups here locally are relatively small and it just seems to me like they would have been a good place to step out of “stone-age” feral livestock practices and actually take a step toward managing a wild population.
Just my opinion and I really appreciate that you take the time to send these updates out.
See you Tues.
Monday if there is a release in Dayton.
Have a nice Sunday.

Dry mares awaiting release