"As the organization that first entered into the agreement with the BLM in 2014 to administer a humane PZP birth control program to humanely manage the wild horses living in the Fish Springs area of the Pine Nut Mountains Herd Area, AWHC is very concerned about the agency's recent decision regarding long-term management of the horses in the area. While we support the BLM's decision to resume the PZP birth control program with our local partner, the Pine Nut Wild Horse Advocates, we are deeply concerned about the number of horses the BLM intends to remove from this public lands area. We support the local community’s strong commitment to the wild horses of the Pine Nut Mountains and urge the federal government (BLM) to work with the local community to create a long-term, humane program to manage these cherished horses in their habitat without large-scale removals.
The BLM states that they cited 57 horses in the Fish Springs area during a 2016 census flight and the agency wants to manage only 11 to 26 horses in this area. This indicates that the BLM intends to remove the vast majority of horses in the Fish Springs area. While the BLM claims there is 75% utilization of the resource by horses in the Fish Springs area, we are told by local partners who are on the range every day that this estimation is exaggerated and that while certain areas show use, most areas of the range are in good condition. Additionally, BLM claims that Bi-State Sage Grouse are suffering due to horse numbers in the Fish Springs area; again this is not supported by wildlife recreationalists in the area. The BLM decision also proposes large scale helicopter removals of 500 wild horses living in and around the Pine Nut Mountains Herd Management Area - this means the BLM would remove more than 70 percent of the herd leaving numerous allotments throughout the HMA with few or no wild horses. Such large-scale removals are not humane, nor are they sustainable and the vast majority of the American public (including 86% of Trump voters) support protecting wild horses not rounding them up." - Deniz Bolbol, Director of Field Operations, American Wild Horse Campaign