The Bureau of Land Management will conduct an “emergency” helicopter roundup of 300 wild horses starting on or about Thursday in and around the northern portion of the Eagle Herd Management Area in Lincoln County, Nevada.
BLM says there is insufficient water to support the wild horses on the 660,610-acre Eagle HMA. The herd management area typically receives 8-14 inches of rainfall annually, depending on elevation, with water sources limited to a few natural springs and man-made wells, as well as a few small perennial streams
BLM estimates the current population to be 1,859 wild horses, compared to the agency-set “Appropriate Management Level” of 100-210 — as low as one wild horse for every 6,601 acres
By comparison, six cattle and sheep grazing allotments have at least 37% of their acreage overlapping the Eagle HMA. The 10-year average annual use on those allotments was 28,732 Animal Unit Months, according to August 2018 BLM planning documents. One Animal Unit Month is a month’s forage for one horse, one cow / calf pair or five sheep.
Wild horses captured by contractor Sun J Livestock, Inc., will be separated by age and gender, then transported to the National Wild Horse and Burro Center at Palomino Valley, in Reno, Nevada, before being offered for adoption. Those passed over for adoption are at increased risk of being sold to kill buyers because BLM in May altered its sale policy to allow a single buyer to purchase up to 24 wild horses or burros per day with no waiting period, no oversight and no questions asked.
Those who wish to view the roundup should call (775) 861-6700 to receive instruction on meeting locations and times. “Viewing opportunities will be limited due to logistics in regards to private land issues, terrain and weather,” BLM said in a press release