Monday, October 15, 2007

The Million Dollar Question-Part II

The answer to yesterdays question, “Of the 199 Herd Management Areas remaining, how many wild horse and burro herds have been given an allowable management level of 60 or less?


By this most recently “affirmed standard” the BLM used to zero out Colorado’s West Douglas wild horses, BLM has issued an allowable management level that is non self-sustaining to 36% of our herds.

Now these numbers are only the ones that meet the criteria BLM has just legally affirmed as being too low to support a genetically viable population, this is not the established scientific standard.

Just how dangerously low is America’s wild horse and burro herds being managed for?

An excellent reference source can be found at American Wild Horse Preservation Campaigns website in an article titled,

The article highlights results from DNA analysis and genetic viability studies conducted by Dr. Gus Cothran, a leader in the field of equine population genetics, which determined that the absolute minimum herd size necessary to maintain healthy, sustainable populations requires at least 150-200 wild horses - this is the absolute minimum recommended if the herds are to be preserved.

A total of 209 herds and their AMLs were analyzed to determine how many met this criteria and only 52 areas, or 25% of the remaining herds are being managed for self-sustaining populations.

While Dr. Cothran has worked very closely with the BLM in the sampling and testing of many of our American Herds, a transfer to the University of Texas A&M has brought about a long gap in the publishing of additional genetic testing and results.

Here are the herds that can now be zeroed out using this newly “affirmed standard”. The numbers given for AML is the maximum number of wild horses or burros that BLM will allow within their federally protected habitat.

Also bear in mind that it is BLMs policy to reduce wild horse herds by 60% of these numbers when they round them up and now often use the fertility control drug, PZP, on any of the mares released back on the range.

-Established AML At 60 Or Less-

California: 13 out of 22 herds
Bitner-25, Carter Reservoir-35, Chicago Valley-12, Massacre Lakes-20, New Ravendale-25, Nut Mountain-55, Palm Canyon-6, Piper Mountain-17, Red Rock Lakes-25, Wall Canyon-25, Lee Flat-15, Waucoba Hunter Mt-11, Round Mt/Devils Garden-10

Idaho: 3 out of 6 herds
Black Mt-60, Four Mile-60, Saylor Creek-50

Nevada: 45 out of 102
Amargosa Valley-0, Applewhite-1, Ash Meadows-0, Blue Nose Peak-1, Blue Wing Mt-1, Bullfrog-12, Cherry Creek-0, Clover Creek-14, Clover Mt-16, Deer Lodge Canyon-50, Diamond Hills North-36, Diamond Hills South-22, Dogskins Mt-15, Eldorado Mts-0, Fish Lake Valley-54, Goldfield-50, Granite Peak-18, Highland Peak-33, Hot Creek-41, Jakes Wash-21, Lahontan-10, Little Fish Lake-39, Little Mountain-15, McGee Mountain-41, Meadow Valley Mt-0, Miller Flat-15, Moriah-29, Muddy Mountains-0, Palmeto-0, Paymaster-43, Rattlesnake-1, Red Rock-27 wild horses, 49 burros, Sand Springs West-49, Saulsbury-40, Seven Mile-50, Seven Troughs-46 burros, Silver Peak-6 burros, South Stillwater-16, StoneWall-50, Tobin Range-42, Warm Springs Canyon-24 burros, Wheeler Pass-35 burros, Whistler Mt-24, Hickson Summit-45 burros, North Monitor-8.

New Mexico: 2 out of 2
Bordo Atravesado-60, Carracas Mesa-23

Oregon: 6 out of 18
Hog Creek-50, Ligget Table-25, Pokegama-50, Riddle Mt.-56, Warm Springs-25 burros, Murders Creek-35

Utah: 12 out of 21
Bible Springs-60, Chloride Canyon-30, Choke Cherry-30, Four Mile-60, Frisco-60, Kingtop-40, Mt Elinor-25, Muddy Creek-50, North Hills-36, Robbers Roost-25, Sinbad-50, Tilly Creek-50.

The Future of America's Wild Horses & Burros

Is Being Dangerously Compromised!

Photo taken from BLM Website.
All Herd Statistics taken from BLM Herd Statistics, Fiscal Year 2007,
Wild Horse & Burro Program

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