The Bureau of Land Management on Friday announced that it was moving forward with a plan that would see the agency capture and remove the remaining 714 wild horses from the Moriah Herd Area in White Pine County, Nevada.
No date has yet been set for the roundup.
The 55,300-acre Moriah Herd Management Area was demoted to Herd Area status in 2007 because BLM deemed it deficient for one of five essential components: forage, water, cover, space and reproductive viability and set the Appropriate Management Level at 0 horses.
Of the estimated 714 wild horses that still live on the range there, about half regularly leave the Herd Area in search of forage and water, according to the agency.
BLM will set out to capture as many of the horses as possible through a helicopter roundup and return periodically over the next decade to zero out the Herd Area. Captured wild horses would be offered for adoption or sale.
BLM’s assessment rejected raising AML, because its regional plan does not include horses on the Herd Area, using a bait-and-water trap as a primary means of capturing wild horses, because they have access to water outside of the Herd Area, or the use of fertility control via darting to reduce herd numbers, because it would take “decades” to zero out the herd and because much of the Herd Area is inaccessible with no roads.
Reversion of HMAs to HAs with objectives to zero-out wild horses from these areas while providing no alternative lands for those horses results is a net loss of resources for wild horses overall and a disproportionate gain for other uses.
RTF recommended a slower and multi-faceted approach including the implementation of
The BLM did not analyze a reduction of privately-owned cattle or sheep on the Herd Area. The agency has allocated 17,346 Animal Unit Months (one AUM equals enough forage for one cow-calf pair, one horse