The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is poised to gut wild horse herds that live in an area on the Nevada-California border called the “Surprise Complex”. The BLM will roundup and remove over 1,000 mustangs in this area, and because the BLM “doesn’t manage” wild burros living here, all burros are also slated for capture and removal.
The BLM’s goal of leaving 283 mustangs left in the complex, one horse for every 1,400 acres, opens up more land to thousands of sheep and cattle allowed to graze on public lands in the area. Currently, the BLM allows 7,483 cows to graze within the complex.
Wild horse advocates are outraged by this plan and are encouraging the public to submit comments advocating for use of the PZP birth control vaccine and revising the plan that favors commercial livestock over federally-protected wild horses and burros.
Find out how to submit public comments at www.blm.gov.
Nevada (Eagle Complex & Silver King HMA):
The brutal roundup and removal of wild horses from the Eagle Complex outside of Panaca, Nevada continues in the midst of too often frigid winter weather. The BLM has prevented daily viewing of the temporary holding pens, making it difficult to assess the condition of just-captured horses. Any public observer(s) has been kept distanced, making it hard to document what’s happening to the horses as they are chased into traps. It should be noted that this roundup has an unusually high number of deaths.
This roundup is the third time in just 4 years that the BLM is capturing wild horses from the Eagle Complex. By early February, this roundup captured 872 horses with 22 horses dying as a result.
Once the Eagle roundup ends, the BLM’s helicopter contractors will move to the Silver King herd management area (HMA) on or about February 5. This HMA consists of almost 575,000 acres of public land. It is home to just over 340 wild horses, including last year’s foals. The BLM claims that this close to 900-square-mile habitat can only support 60-128 horses. Their intention is to permanently remove up to 258 of the horses.
Part of the death toll (late January–early February) includes:
- 12-year-old stallion euthanized by BLM for a “pre-existing condition” note indicates a physical defect or deformity
- 9-year-old mare euthanized by BLM for a “pre-existing condition” note indicates a physical defect or deformity
- 1-year-old stallion euthanized by BLM for a “pre-existing condition” note indicates a physical defect or deformity
- 14-year-old stallion euthanized by BLM because of a clubbed foot
- 3-year-old mare euthanized for a “pre-existing condition” note indicates “soft tissue”