Roundup Report: Jackson Mountain Wild Horses, Sept 2021

The Jackson Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA) spans 264,974 acres in Nevada and is home to an estimated 1,018 wild horses. However, the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) unscientifically low Appropriate Management Level (AML) for the HMA – the number of horses the agency claims that the range can sustainably support in conjunction with other animals and resource uses – is just 801-888 wild horses. 

While the BLM notes that there is currently not enough forage and water in the HMA to sustain the wild horse population, at the same time the BLM continues to authorize thousands of private livestock to graze in the HMA. The below table* shows just how skewed the preference for grazing is to livestock within wild horse habitat.

Allotment

Overlap with HMA

Livestock AUMs**

Wild Horse AUMs

Deer Creek

60%

754

72-120

Jackson Mountains

50%

8,857

840-1,404

Happy Creek

37%

3,724

432-720

Desert Valley

32%

1,596

0

Bottle Creek 

14%

3,434

144-240

Wilder-Quinn

>1%

14,379

72-120

*These values can be found in the Preliminary Environmental Assessment for the Jackson Mountain HMA.

**AUM stands for Animal Unit Month and is the way BLM portions forage allocations. For example, 1 AUM is equal to 1 cow/calf pair. Cattle and sheep graze within the Jackson Mountain HMA.

It is time for the BLM to manage wild horse habitat for the wild horses. 

This roundup will cost the taxpayers at least hundreds of thousands to just round up these 600 beloved horses from the HMA. The removal will also bring along with it the lifetime cost of millions to house these 600 horses for the remainder of their lives in government-holding corrals. 

On top of that, the taxpayer foots the bill for federally subsidized livestock grazing on public lands as well. The federal grazing fee remains at its historic low of $1.35 per animal per month. That’s a steep discount, thanks to the taxpayer subsidies that prop up this federal entitlement program. (Estimates indicate that the overall cost to taxpayers for the federal grazing program could be as much as $500 million annually.

Helicopters are scheduled to fly starting on or about September 15, 2021. We will update this report as the operation progresses.

 

Roundup Report

September 15, 2021: A total of 37 wild horses were captured on the first day of this roundup.