Silver King Day 1: 105 wild horses captured, two killed

/ Featured, In The News, News, Roundups

Wild horses are driven into a trap by a contractor’s helicopter during a 2016 roundup at the Owyhee Herd Management Area. RTF file photo by Steve Paige.

The Bureau of Land Management on Tuesday captured 105 wild horses on the first day of a planned three-week helicopter roundup at the Silver King Herd Management Area.

Two wild horses were put down, according to BLM:

  • A 7-year-old black mare that was missing one eye and that had a body condition score of 3 on a 10-point scale;
  • A yearling blind in both eyes with a body condition score of 2.

The 33 studs, 49 mares and 23 foals captured on Tuesday were the first of 980 wild horses BLM plans to remove from their home range, located about 60 miles south of Ely, Nevada. About 244 wild horses will remain on the 606,000-acre HMA when the roundup is complete.

BLM’s stated reason for the roundup is “to prevent undue or unnecessary degradation of the public lands associated with excess wild horses, and to restore a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-uses relationship on public lands,” according to a press release.

The agency estimates that the wild horse population on the HMA to be 1,224 horses, including foals. The agency’s “Appropriate Management Level” for Silver King is 60-128 wild horses — or as low as one wild horse for every 10,100 acres.

By comparison, BLM allows up to 55,940 Animal Unit Months of private cattle and sheep grazing on six allotments that overlap the HMA by 24-100%. One AUM is enough forage for one cow-calf pair or five sheep per month.

Captured wild horses will be transported to the Indian Lakes Off-Range Wild Horse and Burro Corrals in Dallon, Nevada, before being offered by adoption.

To view BLM’s planning documents, click here:

Viewing the roundup

Those who wish to view the roundup operation are asked to call (775) 289-1800 to be added to an attendee list and receiving specific meeting locations.

Take Action

Please keep calling U. S. Senators on the Conference Committee and urge them to continue standing up for wild horses and burros and opposing slaughter. Click here for suggested talking points and a list of phone numbers.

Please click here to send a letter to your members of Congress urging them to oppose the Bureau of Land Management sale policy, which allows any buyer to purchase up to 24 wild horses with no waiting period, no oversight and no questions asked.

Sign RTF’s Wild on the Range Campaign petition in support of humane management of wild horses and burros.

Donate to the Wild Horse Defense Fund