Jackson Mountains Wild Horse Pre-gather
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Jackson Mountains Wild Horse Pre-gather

September 4, 2019

Bureau of Land Management is conducting
an emergency wild horse gather which began june eighth In the jackson mountains herd
management area Or hma near Winnemucca Nevada The BLM winemucca district began an
emergency gather with six hundred and thirty excess wild horses nearly one month earlier than planned because it drought conditions and the
effects of the drought on the body condition of wild horses particularly in the southern portion of
the HMA history reminds us that this is a
fragile area that can quickly change from moderate
conditions two extremely poor conditions In the blink of an eye this hma a has a history of water
and forage shortages during times of drought especially when they are excess wild
horses two thousand seven was the last time
this area had a horse gather and about nine hundred and ninety horses
were removed do the lack of forage and water in two
thousand seven wild horse health was compromised and subsequently a large number of the
animals removed died at BLM’s short term
holding facility since the two thousand seven horse
gather the population has climbed significantly again two estimates of
nine hundred and thirty animals at the conclusion of the twenty twelve foaling
season the amount of wild horses that the land
can support in HMA for what we call the appropriate
management level is one hundred and thirty to two hundred
and seventeen adult wild horses a population survey was conducted in
april ninth and tenth in twenty twelve at that time a direct count of wild horses Revealed about seven hundred and
thirty eight adult wild horses and ninety-six foals with many more foals expected to be born
in april and may the middle and north end of the HMA
aren’t in desperate shape but do have over populations of horses
that tax the water and vegetation over time the southern end is much more serious
with perennial vegetation like indian rice grass or winter fat that should
return year after year not returning at all there’s minimal or no greenup on this
year’s forage the wild horses within the southern area
are forging on last year’s cheat grass entrance which is not meeting their nutritional
requirements Hosted a hosted a tour for
stakeholders on may fourth of the southern part of the jackson mountains
HMA to show them the concerns and how we are working to mitigate them Excess animals depleted rangeland animal health marginal in not going down is why we are here today And it’s pleasing That We’re here To join others because it’s very evident all of us Care about this it’s not just a blm concern, Ranchers, Congressman, BLM and now fish and wildlife service county
commissioners consultants we don’t want To have and incident like two thousand and seven but healthy range allow for wildlife primitive lifestyle and healthy horses what you’ll see today is not healthy
range land but believe me with excess animals the conditions of the
range we do not have a driving ecological balance we are not in balance and that’s the purpose of today’s visit
to get the eyes and ears we want open dialogue out there The tour group stopped at trail springs at the
southern end of the HMA the area of most concern this in the area where large numbers of
animals have produced heavy trailing on the mountain side between the spring
when the water tanks are and food sources that are further and further
away the distance between the food and water
has increased because the forage has been depleted from
miles around this spring in the past few months water sources in
the southern area of the HMA have continued to decrease in flow the impact of too many horses watering
at the trail springs area has resulted in the need for the BLM
to intervene we’re out here in the Jackson Mountains herd
management we’re at the trail springs trough this area has had about 200 horses that are staying here and watering at this specific spring since about the December of the year Ths spring has reduced it’s flow in the last
Month in a half to only half a gallon a minute Another stop on the tour was in the Jackson Mountains Grazing Allotment at the livestock permittee’s windmill tank located outside the herd management area. due to escalating conditions permittee voluntarily moved his
livestock out of this area of concern scarce flowing water isn’t the only
issue plaguing this HMA. historic grazing as well as past and current over
populations of wild horses have degraded this range to the point
there is little residual plant vegetation. when there’s no vegetation covering
the topsoil The topsoil gets blown away with no topsoil to retain what little
Rainfall we get the result is no more plant regrowth melanie explains utilization of land use this morning we’re standing on top of
sugarloaf knob in the jackson mountains Herd management area and behind us one of the black rock
desert and the black rock playa we have a large plume of dust that’s coming
up after the playa at this point on an average year you’d have water on the playa
obviously we wouldn’t have dust blowing Available food sources are also scarce
and being overused in detrimental ways Normally, wild horses eat forage on valley
floors first in the winter months making their way up mountain sides to
the top of the mountains when when it’s warmest because the snow has melted and
forage is finally available however that is not the case here the horses had severely depleted forage at
the top by last october leaving very little to grow back this spring. At Jackson mountain still were down by a water source but were up working on the uplands by where up working on the uplands by were you would to not see so much use because the horses have to go up hill and and its harder to get to vegetation and if we look down here at the sagebrush you can see where
the horses have pawed into the brush itself to try to get this
little bit of vegetation that’s been laying under here it’s mostly cheap grass but even that is
something that’s more palatable than say the sagebrush or the ephedra for
them to eat and so you can just see the
heavy to severe utilization That the horses are putting out here in an effort to get enough forage and feed
to keep them going this time of year we should have green
we should have green grass all around here from the snow getting caught in the
sagebrush and so forth and we should have quite a few green plants around the
base but we have none and its completely dry here’s what some of the tour attendees
had to say we do hear some of bobs concerns gathering down the low end BLM is going to come back and do something with the gather.
7:44 Well we saw a lot of the dry vegetation there very little green grass 0:07:49.000,0:07:54.999 There’s some growth on the shrubs but as you know horses mainly eat grass
0:07:55.000,0:07:58.999 looking down at the water troughs and around it there is a lot of trailing going on It does look like good conditions for wild horses or wildlife for that matter or cows I do view this as an escalating condition. Based on the tour that we went on today I think that the BLM is definitely not acting
too soon on this in this whole situation looking at making sure that we don’t end up with an emergency with the horses on the Jackson’s
0:8:28.000, 0:8:31.999
Based on the conditions that I saw today it looks
more like august than it does may. The grass that there was zero green you
0:8:32.000, 0:8:39.999
the grass that there is today looks like last years
grass there was zero green up zero green grass
0:8:40.000, 0:8:43.999
The closer you got to what little
water sources there were
0:8:44.000, 0:8:45.999
you could see heavy use
0:8:44.000, 0:8:49.999
I would recommend Mr. Delhome he’s offered to
0:8:50.000, 0:8:54.999
use the water that on his property
0:8:55.000, 0:8:57.999
It’s his own personal property
to make sure that the horses
0:8:58.000, 0:9:01.999
don’t die of thirst out there
0:9:02.000, 0:9:06.999
he’s got some of it off right now
to make sure his cattle get moved.
0:9:08.999, 0:9:12.647
While hauling water, installing water tanks
and removing cattle at the Jackson Mountains HMA
helped alleviate some water issues
temporarily it will not fix the problem long-term The BLM began the initial steps
involved with water trapping through the placement other temporary
water trough and storage tanks and by hauling water but this activity scatter the animals
away from dwindling water substance we determine the placement of panels for
a water trap would further add to the skittish behavior of the horses and we discontinued water tapping
efforts and kept as low as human presence as
possible so the horses would continue to come and
drink automated wildlife trail cameras for
used to assess the condition of the animals
near the water holes these unmanned cameras confirmed the horses have deteriorated in
condition over the last several weeks it increasingly became apparent that the condition of the animals was
deteriorating to the point that holding off gathering would put us in the position of
gathering animals in declining health if we waited therefore the gather began almost a
month early because the gather started during foaling season extra
precautions will be taken and measures are in place to ensure safe and humane handling during
gather operations extra precautions will be taking to
ensure that falls are not left behind orphaned in the field we will ensure that the distance animals
are moved to gather site is based on the terrain environmental conditions an animal
health And extra pens are in place at the
temporary holding corrals for mares and foals and to separate weaker horses from stronger ones. The BLM is committed to ensuring that
this area can continue to sustain healthy horses on healthy rangelands. Therefore, we are humanely gathering
some of the animals off the range and they will be prepared to enter the BLM’s adoption program or will be sent to live out their lives in long-term holding pastures in the Midwest. power mostly peace mission means we must
insure a balance with all users of the Land
so we can enjoy the land all it has to offer for all it has to offer for years to come.
years to come.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. One lie after another. Are the cattle off the range that you say is so bad? You say yes others who have been in the area say no. I like how you have taken the time when the mother and her foal are almost walking to the trap. What about showing how they had just been driven for miles by the helicopter. You have to stop lying to the people who pay your salaries. You all should be ashamed of yourselves and how you are treating these mothers and babies. You all have not heart!

  2. Almost all of the livestock were voluntarily removed from the area. All of the mares and foals that we have gathered from the Jackson Mountains Herd Management Area are paired and well at the Palomino Valley Center.

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