The Bureau of Land Management has postponed until Thursday the ongoing Frisco Horse Management Area helicopter roundup due to winter weather.
Also on Monday, the BLM announced that the start date for a roundup at the Reveille HMA in Nevada would be pushed back to Jan. 29.
Through Sunday, 50 wild horses were captured during the first three days of the roundup in western Utah.
BLM plans to capture 150 wild horses, permanently removing 90 from their home range. Some will be returned to the range fitted with radio collars and global positioning system tracking devices as part of a population-control experiment.
Captured wild horses are being transported to the Axtell Off-Range Corrals, joining 113 Frisco horses who have remained in the corrals since being captured last July.
Wild horses not returned to the HMA with radio collars are to be made available for adoption, according to BLM. Those not adopted will be sent to long-term holding facilities.
Members of the public interested in viewing the Frisco roundup should call the BLM gather hotline: (801) 539-4050. Participants must provide their own transportation (four-wheel drive, high-clearance vehicles are recommended), as well as their own water and food. They should wear clothing suitable for harsh winter conditions.
BLM plans to capture up to 135 wild horses from the HMA and surrounding area, which is located about 50 miles east of Tonopah, Nevada.
Of those, 80 wild horses will be permanently removed from the range and put up for adoption; 55 will be released, with all mares treated with fertility control vaccine.
A portion of the Reveille HMA is subject to a 1987 court order and 2001 and 2001 Interior Board of Land Appeals orders requiring BLM to conduct an annual population count. If the count exceeds BLM’s Appropriate Management Level (set at 138 wild horses in 2001), the agency has 120 days to begin a roundup to removed “excess” wild horses, beginning with wild horses outside of the HMA’s boundaries.
The Tonopah Resource Management Plan allow BLM to reduce the wild horse population to a level that will accommodate up to three years of population growth before again reaching Appropriate Management Level.
The goal for the upcoming roundup: reduce population to 91 wild horses. The current population is estimated at 173 wild horses, based on an inventory flight in February 2016 and an annual estimated growth rate of 15 to 20%, according to BLM.
You can help:
Please consider a contribution to the Wild Horse Defense Fund, which makes it possible for RTF to have humane observers on the ground at roundups. Having an active voice has proven valuable for holding BLM and contractors accountable for the humane handling of wild horses, pressing for improvements to humane standards, and educating policymakers and the public about how tax dollars are being used.