The Bureau of Land Management will begin an “emergency” roundup of about 73 wild horses on the Flanigan Herd Management Area, about five miles west of Pyramid Lake in Washoe County, Nev., starting on or around Aug. 9.
No helicopters will be used. Instead, the BLM will use temporary traps made of corral panels stocked with water.
The BLM has no plans to treat and release additional mares with safe, proven and humane fertility control, which Return to Freedom strongly supports as a way to eliminate future roundups.
The BLM said in a press release that the small springs on the Herd Management Area have dried up and only small pools of water remain in two creek beds. Because of the lack of water, the agency says, wild horses have moved outside the HMA and onto adjacent private property. The BLM says it has received complaints about the horses damaging property.
The agency-set “Appropriate Management Level” for the Flanigan Herd Management Area is 80-125 wild horses. As of March 1, the estimated population was 298 wild horses, not counting this year’s foals.
Captured wild horses will be transported to the Palomino Valley Center Off-Range Wild Horse Corrals in Reno, Nev., to be readied for adoption or sale.
RTF believes that the wild horses and burros have been placed in this position by the BLM’s failure to implement solutions that have been available for more than 20 years. The agency has resisted creating an infrastructure and a culture that could have made a sustainable and effective fertility control program possible. It has rounded up horses year after year while waiting for longer-acting vaccines instead of using the safe, proven and humane fertility control that’s available right now. These sensitive habitats are vulnerable to drought and, knowing this, a national land management agency tasked with the preservation and protection of our wild horses should have been prepared long ago and in a much better position today.