Augusta Mountain Stallion. Photo by Laura Leigh, October 2010
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is targeting 50 wild horses living outside the Augusta Mountains Herd Management Area (HMA) in north-central Nevada for permanent removal in a roundup scheduled for January 2011. The agency is claiming that these horses must be removed because they are living outside the invisible boundaries of the HMA.
However, AWHPC has recently learned that the horses are actually living in an area that was once designated as an HMA, but was "zeroed" out as wild horse habitat in 1986 even though livestock grazing was allowed to continue. BLM has the clear authority to leave this small herd in place and reinstate the area as wild horse habitat.
Recently, BLM has taken several steps in the right direction by proposing treat-and-release programs and avoiding removals in two areas, including for horses living within the Augusta Mountain HMA. In addition, the agency announced this week that it was suspending plans to roundup the Walker Lake, NV mustang herd, which is also living outside a designated HMA.
Now let's convince the agency to continue the momentum by cancelling plans to roundup the horses living outside the Augusta Mountains HMA, reinstating the area as wild horse habitat and managing this small herd on the range without removal and long-term warehousing.