We are currently in the middle of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) summer roundup season. Signaling its intent for America's wild herds, the agency has increased capacity to hold horses at its short term holding pens -- which now have space for nearly 15,000 wild horses and burros. This increases the BLM’s ability to round up more horses and burros from public lands and endangers more lives. The agency is increasingly using “emergency” as an excuse to round up horses from the range, enabling them to skirt legal requirements for analysis and public comment. And, the BLM’s plan to conduct numerous roundups simultaneously, making it difficult for advocacy organizations to document the mass capture of mustangs from their homes on our public lands.
Below is more information on the operations.
Photo of Sulphur family by Steve Paige, AWHC
On Aug. 1, the Bureau of Land Management will begin the removal of wild horses from areas within and outside the Bible Springs Complex and Sulphur Herd Management Area in Iron and Beaver Counties.
The BLM plans to remove approximately 200 wild horses from within the HMAs and the surrounding area. Horses removed from the range will be transported to the BLM holding facility in Axtell, Utah
Day 1, August 1, 2018
Day 2, August 2, 2018
Day 3, August 3, 2018
Day 4: August 4
Day 5: August 5
Day 6: August 6, 2018
Red Desert Complex
Photo of Green Mountain family by Andy Dyson
Beginning on August 7, The BLM Wyoming Rawlins and Lander field offices will begin a helicopter roundup of wild horses from the Red Desert Wild Horse Complex. The complex includes the Antelope Hills, Crooks Gap, Green Mountain, Lost Creek and Stewart Creek herd management areas, spanning 703,500 acres of public land and 49,500 acres of private land in south-central Wyoming. The BLM plans to remove 2,670 adult horses from the range and an untold number of foals.
Of the 2,670 adult wild horses to be removed, approximately 1,170 would be removed from the Green Mountain HMA, 608 from the Stewart Creek HMA, 495 from the Crooks Mountain HMA, 368 from the Lost Creek HMA and 29 from the Antelope Hills HMA. Only adult horses count toward the 2,670 removal number.
Muddy Creek HMA
The Bureau of Land Management Price Field Office will conduct a wild horse removal at the Muddy Creek Herd Management Area (HMA) beginning in August. The BLM plans to roundup an estimated 149 wild horses to leave a population of just 75 wild horses -- low AML. They will be adjusting sex rations of 57% male and 43% female on the range and all mares will be treated with fertility control.
COMPLETED: Bullfrog HMA, bait/water
Burros from the Bullfrog HMA
On July 6, 2018 the BLM Battle Mountain District, Tonopah Field Office began the removal of wild burros from the Bullfrog HMA, located approximately 90 miles southeast of Tonopah on public lands and surrounds the town of Beatty, Nevada, located within Nye County. The wild burros in the Bullfrog HMA have been determined to be excess by the BLM.
The removal was completed on July 24, 2018 404 burros were captured, and there were two deaths which BLM noted as “pre-existing”.
COMPLETED: Range Creek HMA
Reason: Excess horses, “nuisance”
Start date: June 26, 2018
The BLM has concluded a water and bait trap removal of wild horses outside of the Range Creek Herd Management Area (HMA) in Carbon County, Utah. They permanently removed 91 wild horses and there was one death reported as “actue”. They were had Henneke body scores of 3’s and 4’s.
COMPLETED: Goshute HMA/Antelope
Reason: Excess horses, private land
Start date: June 25, 2018
The Bureau of Land Management, Elko District Office has concluded the Outside Goshute Herd Management Area Wild Horse Gather. The BLM rounded up and removed 135 wild horses from public and private lands outside the Goshute HMA in eastern Nevada.
Antelope Valley HMA
The Bureau of Land Management, Elko District, Wells Field Office began an emergency wild horse water removal on July 23 citing not enough water to support the number of horses in the area. The BLM plans to gather and remove approximately 250 deemed excess wild horses.
As of July 26, 39 wild horses have been captured and removed.
Cedar Mountain HMA
Photo of Cedar Mountain horses being rounded up by BLM Utah
On July 13, the Bureau of Land Management Salt Lake Field Office began removing wild horses from the the Cedar Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA), located in Tooele County, Utah approximately 50 miles west of Tooele. The BLM plans to remove approximately 250 wild horses from the HMA near the Cochran, Cedar, and Brown Springs, due to reduced spring flow and a lack of available water.
At the time of writing this, 167 wild horses have been captured, and five wild horses from the Cedar Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA) in Utah have been killed as a result of a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) roundup currently underway that is being sold as an effort to “save” these animals from drought.
Truth be told, there has always been an issue with water within the Cedar Mountain HMA. Historically, the BLM has mitigated the situation by hauling water to the horses in the summer, which keeps the horses wild and doesn't burden the taxpayer nearly as much as rounding them up.
*POSTPONED: This roundup has been postponed due to flash flooding meanwhile, the BLM cites the reason for the removal as “lack of water”.
The Bureau of Land Management Ely District, Bristlecone Field Office began removing approximately 250 wild horses from Big Sand Spring Valley in the Pancake Herd Management Area. The removal began on July 9. 21 wild horses were captured and there was one death noted as “acute”.
Piute Mountain Herd HA
On June 28, the BLM California Desert District, Needles Field Office began conducting a bait-trap removal to capture and remove up to 60 wild burros within the Piute Mountain Herd Area citing lack of water. According to the most recent update provided by the BLM (July 6) 31 burros have been captured.