The Owyhee Complex (Complex) includes the Little Owyhee, Owyhee, Rock Creek and Snowstorm Mountains Herd Management Areas (HMAs) and spans over 1 million acres in Nevada. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) currently estimates that as of May 2021, approximately 1,118 wild horses call the Complex home. However, the BLM’s unscientifically low Appropriate Management Level (AML) for the Complex – the number of horses the agency claims that the range can sustainably support in conjunction with other animals and resource uses – is 621-999 horses.
Since the BLM plans to permanently remove approximately 615 wild horses from four of the five HMAs in the Complex, AWHC will be monitoring the operation to make sure that the Complex is not taken below the legally required low population level.
Even while the helicopters fly, removing our federally protected wild horses, the BLM continues to authorize thousands of cows to graze in the Complex. It is time for the BLM to manage wild horse habitat for the wild horses.
This roundup will cost the taxpayers at least $471,450 to round up these 947 beloved horses from the Complex. Of that, only approximately 332 are planned for return to the Complex, so the removal will also bring along with it the lifetime cost of approximately $30.7M to house the remaining 615 horses for the remainder of their lives in government holding corrals. The contractor for this roundup is CD Warner Livestock, LLC.
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 October 11, 2021. We will update this report as the operation progresses.
Total captured: 934
Total Deaths: 27
Total horses released back: 362
November 8, 2021: No wild horses were captured today and 102 were released after being treated with PZP 22. There were three deaths. The BLM euthanized 20+ year old Sorrel stallion for "pre-existing broken fetlocks," another 20+ year old Bay stallion was euthanized due to a "chronic condition of no teeth," and finally the BLM euthanized an 8 year old stallion for a broken leg.
November 7, 2021: 11 wild horses were captured today. The BLM euthanized one sorrel stallion for a broken leg.
November 6, 2021: 32 wild horses were captured today.
November 5, 2021: 49 wild horses were captured today and there were four deaths. The BLM euthanized a 12 year old stud due to two fractured legs, a 20 year old bay stallion due to a hernia, a 12 year old black stallion due to fractured/broken fetlocks, and a 9 year old black mare due to a fractured leg.
November 4, 2021: Today, 100 wild horses were chased by helicopters into traps.
November 3, 2021: 37 wild horses were rounded up today
November 2, 2021: 26 wild horses were captured today
November 1, 2021: There were no roundup operations today as the trap was being moved to the Rock Creek HMA
October 31, 2021: 29 horses were captured today and there were three deaths. The BLM euthanized an 11 year old grey mare due to "unexpected heart failure," a 20 year old grey stallion due to a fractured/broken leg, a five year old grey stallion due to "growth on scapula" and a 6 month old brown foal due to a severe hoof deformity.
October 30, 2021: Today 101 wild horses were stampeded into traps and one 18 year old grey mare was euthanized due to a "chronic injury."
October 29, 2021: The helicopters did not fly today.
October 28, 2021: No horses were captured today and the BLM released 98 wild horses, 48 were mares who were treated with PZP-22. There were two deaths today, a 20 year old bay mare was euthanized due to two rear clubbed feet and a 5 year old bay mare was also euthanized for a club foot.
October 27, 2021: Today 21 wild horses were rounded up and removed in the operation and 4 lost their lives. Today, the BLM euthanized a 20+ year old sorrel mare due to "chronic injury", a 15+ buckskin mare due to "chronic injury", a 9 year old roan mare due to "chronic injury" and a 3 month old foal due to a hernia.
October 26, 2021: 43 wild horses were captured today and one seven year old bay stallion was euthanized due to "chronic injury (broken leg) with no prognosis for recovery"
October 25, 2021: The helicopters were grounded today due to weather.
October 24, 2021: Operations were paused due to weather.
October 23, 2021: 39 wild horses were captured today
October 22, 2021: Helicopters were grounded today due to high winds.
October 21, 2021: 60 horses lost their families and freedom forever.
Today, 60 horses were captured from the Little Owyhee Herd Management Area. I was one of two members of the public who showed up for observation. I had a good view of the trap site.
The horses appeared to be in good shape, without any shortage of food or water. During the operation, the horses got pushed past the cows and through a narrow opening in the fence.
October 20, 2021: 84 horses were captured today without any public observation since the operation was on private property.
October 19, 2021: 76 horses were captured today, coming off the Little Owyhee HMA. Only 2 people showed up for observation, and we had a good view of the trap site. Unfortunately, the operation was located on Private property and access is limited to just Tuesday and Thursday. The contractor is CD Warner Livestock
The horses coming off the range are in good shape and there is plenty of food and water, just showing that this roundup is unnecessary with no reasons other than getting to AML
The mares released are only being treated with a single dose of PZP-22.
Branded mares that had been released in previous years
Horses pushed past the cows and through a narrow opening in the fence.
Horses navigated around the fencing and through a narrow opening in the fence.
October 18, 2021: roundup operations were canceled today due to weather.
October 17, 2021: Operations were paused today as the trap was moved.
October 16, 20201: Today 39 wild horses were captured and there was one death, a yearling Cremello mare was euthanized due to chronic injury.
October 15, 2021: 39 wild horses were chased into traps today and two lost their lives. A two month foal was euthanized "due to chronic injury" and a two year old Black mare was euthanized due to chronic injury.
October 14, 2021: 68 wild horses were captured and two lost their lives. A 20+ year old stallion was euthanized for a pre-existing condition and a yearling was euthanized for a "pre-existing" ankle fracture.
October 13, 2021: 83 wild horses lost their freedom today.
October 12, 2021: The roundup was suspended for a second day due to high winds.
October 11, 2021: Heavy weather suspended operations today.