The Bureau of Land Management is set to begin an “emergency” bait-and-trap roundup of wild horses on the Antelope Valley Herd Management Area in Nevada as soon as Saturday. No helicopters will be used.
The agency says the action is needed due to a lack of water and forage and because of the “declining health of the wild horses associated with herd overpopulation,” according to a press release.
BLM plans to capture and remove about 50 wild horses from around the Deer Springs water source on the Herd Management Area, which is located about 55 miles southeast of Wells, Nev. In 2018, 265 wild horses were removed from the same area.
The current population of wild horses on the Herd Management Area is estimated by BLM at 953 wild horses, including foals.
The Antelope Valley HMA covers 463,540 acres of public and private lands. Its agency-set Appropriate Management Level is set at 155 to 259 wild horses, or as low as one horse for every 2,991 acres.
All of the Antelope Valley HMA is open to the grazing of private cattle, with a maximum allotment of 5,376 Animal Unit Months. One Animal Unit Month is defined as a month’s forage for one horse, one cow / calf pair or five sheep. Actual livestock grazing use from 2008-18 averaged 883 AUM, or 16% of the maximum.