Citing a lack of water and declining health of the herd, the Bureau of Land Management has announced plans for an emergency bait-and-water roundup of 300 wild horses on the Jackson Mountains Herd Management Area, located about 40 miles west of Winnemucca, Nev.
The roundup is set to begin on or about June 15 and last 30-45 days. The horses will be gathered using traps made from corral panels stocked with water and hay, not helicopters.
The agency plans only to remove horses, not treat and release any mares with safe, proven and humane fertility control that would diminish the call for future roundups.
The Jackson Mountains HMA covers 283,775 acres of public and private land. The BLM estimates the current population at 906 wild horses, not counting foals. The agency-set Appropriate Management Level for the HMA is 130-217 horses or as low as one horse for every 2,183 acres.
By comparison, nine livestock permittees are authorized to graze on allotments that average a 31 percent overlap with the HMA, according to a 2012 Environmental Assessment. Total permitted seasonal livestock use is 32,744 Animal Unit Months (One AUM = forage to sustain one cow for one month).
No public viewing is allowed for bait and trap operations. No public viewing of temporary holding facilities will be allowed due to COVID-19, according to a press release.
The captured wild horses will be transported to the Indian Lakes Off-Range Wild Horse and Burro Corrals, located in Fallon, Nev., where they will be readied for the BLM’s adoption and sale program.