Horse News

BLM to permanently remove 100 wild horses from Little Fish Lake HMA, but allows cattle to keep on grazing

The BLM plans to permanently remove 100 wild horses from Nevada’s Little Fish Lake Herd Management Area, stating that the wild horses are “threatened by lack of forage from within the HMA.”  However, the BLM will continue to allow the Wagon Johnnie Grazing Allotment permittee to graze 201 cattle for 6 months of each year on 100% public lands. (per BLM Rangeland Administration System information).  We know the number of cattle could be doubled since the BLM counts a cow-calf pair as only 1.

But, what’s really interesting is that a 2014 Forest Service report claimed there were 528 cattle on the Wagon Johnnie Allotment.  Even though the Forest Service notedPermittees should expect that, if drought impacts to plant production occur, they may be required to exit the allotment earlier than normal this grazing season,” it seems that there have never been any suspended AUMs for the Wagon Johnnie Allotment permittee, Colvin & Son, LLC.

So, the BLM continues to let 528 cattle graze while they remove wild horses to a non-viable herd number of 89 (with 50 of those remaining 89 remaining horses given the experimental fertility control drug, PZP).

The managing member of Colvin & Son LLC is the 17 Bar Cattle Co., LLC, in Dammeron Valley, Utah.  The 17 Bar Cattle Company seems to share the same telephone number as Desert Electric, Inc.

Another interesting thing the 2014 Forest Service report stated about another grazing allotment: “Colvin & Son, LLC was allowed double their permitted numbers in Little Fish Lake C&H allotment as per the District Ranger for the 2014 grazing season with the agreement to rest the allotment for the 2015 grazing season.  Utilization studies will be performed by Austin/Tonopah District personnel to determine if the allotment can sustain a permanent increase.

So, during a “drought” in Nevada, which is supposed to last years, another government agency, the USDA’s Forest Service, is considering a PERMANENT INCREASE in cattle grazing.  Go figure.  –  Debbie


Drought Prompts BLM to gather horses in Nevada

Drought Prompts BLM to Gather Horses in Nevada

The BLM plans to gather about 150 wild horses threatened by lack of forage by using a helicopter to locate and guide wild horses toward a set of corrals.     Photo: Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management Nevada’s Battle Mountain District Tonopah Field Office is scheduled to begin a drought-related wild horse gather in the Little Fish Lake Herd Management Area (HMA), near Tonopah, on or about Feb. 8.

The BLM plans to gather about 150 wild horses threatened by lack of forage using a helicopter to locate and guide wild horses toward a set of corrals. Fifty horses will be released back into the HMA, and all mares will be treated with the fertility control drug porcine zona pellucida. About 100 horses will be transported to the Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse and Burro Corrals in Ridgecrest, California, where they will be will be prepared for adoption by the public. A total of about 100 horses will remain in the HMA after the gather.

Drought conditions have persisted throughout Nevada since 2012, leading to pending emergency conditions in Nye County that seriously threaten the health and well-being of these wild horses. The U.S. drought monitor shows the HMA is in severe drought which, coupled with overutilization by wild horses, has left the HMA with limited available forage for the winter. Lack of vegetation and range impacts from overpopulation by wild horses is also affecting important habitat used by Greater Sage-Grouse.

Wild horse gathers due to drought conditions were analyzed in the Battle Mountain District Drought Management Environmental Assessment dated June 22, 2012. A Determination of National Environmental Policy Act Adequacy, and a Finding of No Significant Impact were completed for this gather; the documents can be viewed online.

The BLM will offer public viewing opportunities during the gather operations and will be updating the gather hotline (775/861-6700) with more information. Photos, daily updates, and other information will be available on the Little Fish Lake Gather website.

17 replies »

  1. Yes, the BLM continues its whitewash of facts and its destructive actions. They are an agency out of control and should be disbanded. All BLM employees should be sent directly to the Federal penitentiary, I dont care which one. Evil, evil people.


  2. Unlike the wild horses and burros, the livestock are not required to be “protected” as an “integral part of the natural system of the public lands.” As made clear by the Wild Horse and Burro Act’s implementing regulations, the BLM “may close appropriate areas of the public lands to [livestock] grazing use by all or a particular kind of livestock . . . if necessary to provide habitat for wild horses or burros, to implement herd management actions, or to protect wild horses or burros from disease, harassment or injury.” 43 C.F.R. § 4710.5(a).


  3. OMG! Here we go again dealing with the BLM! Please tell us what we can do for the innocent ones! Very depressing situation ONCE AGAIN!! Thnx 2 everyone who gives their input! This is very hard to deal with bcuz the government has other priorities! I do know that we should support the orgs. who make a difference, and I will continue to do that! But this is very heartbreaking to know that the innocent wild horses & burros have to suffer immensely! Really ticks me off to say the least! Yup, MEGA ANGRY!! Many UGHS!!! Plz support the Premarin Horses also… The Horse Many thanks to my heroes at H4H and WHFF & also many other orgs. & all friends of RT & Terry!!!! My local hero is Mona Jerome at Ever After Mustang Rescue in Biddeford, ME! Support your local heroes who truly make a difference for all horses! She keeps me grounded & truly makes a difference locally… (when I feel like I do not hear that anyone listens to my voice RE: the gov’t) Can anyone relate? We are not alone, no doubt… WE ARE THEIR VOICE!!!


  4. seems to me the only thing threatening the wellbeing of the wild horses is not the lack of forage as stated by the blm,but is the blm itsself,its about time the blm was removed for the wellbeing of the wild horses.


  5. You are never going to shame the BLM into changing. They know what they are and what they are doing and until someone of higher authority steps on them, it will remain as it is. All we can do is continue to try and get that higher authority to stop the corruption within the DOI.


  6. I’m curious how removing horses permanently can be both funded due to forage limitations and at the same time considered to have “no significant impact.” It would seem at a minimum there is a substantial impact on both the herds removed (and remaining) as well as the forage thus available for other grazers, including for-profit livestock.

    If no significant impact is in fact the BLM’s determination, why remove horses at all?


  7. The injustice to our wild horses continue and with every roundup the heartbreak continues. The total number of livestock far outnumber wild horses and yet the relatively few remaining, compared to millions that once roamed the West, are losing their freedom. America’s wild horses have survived for centuries in harsh desert environments made more hostile by ranchers who view them as pests and want them removed from public lands. America’s wild horses must be protected and preserved….they belong to all of us!


  8. How I see it:
    This proposed wild horse removal is even worse than what we have seen in the past with the public being at least allowed to comment on Environmental Assessments (EA). The BLM doesn’t want to waste it’s time and money on paying for EA’s to be written and someone having to read the public comments (that they have already decided to ignore – even before offering the public to comment) … so they are using other methods to get around it. One is the DNA – Determination of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Adequacy. Very basically, the DNA process is the BLM saying “we have captured them here before and got away with it … so we are going to do it again and the animal loving public can go take a hike”. It is similar to “fast-tracking”. They make their decisions and then take the action without taking a (required by law) “hard look” at their proposal. It is a methodical scam … a loophole that they are now using. They are doing the same DNA process on the Pine Nut HMA wild horses (near Carson City). If this DNA plan works as well as they predict then it will be their favorite method of disposal of our wild ones from their legally designated land. Unfortunately the end result is the same … hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of our wild horses and wild burros will be captured and removed from their land – OUR land and OUR wild horses and OUR wild burros.


  9. BLM was formed to protect not destroy and the are destroying Wild Mustangs to make money off the cattle we nee to stop them we are there bosses we pay there salary step up America protect our Heritage the Wild horses.


  10. Many thanks for all your well researched articles, Debbie, that are keeping us informed.
    Isn’t there any legal way to stop BLM from using DNA as it is nothing but a lie?
    EA’s with our comments are at least a record of what BLM does .


    • Thanks, Barbara. The BLM has never posted Dr. Gus Cothran’s DNA analysis of the herds that they’ve obtained genetic samples from, online, in full, for the public to read. They often don’t bother to give their Advisory Boards this information, either. The BLM hasn’t done genetic testing on all of the herds.


      • I think Barbara Warner was asking about the Determination of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Adequacy (DNA) … not the genetic DNA. See my comment above.


    • The only way to comment of stop the BLM on the DNA (determination of NEPA adequacy) or the CX (categorical exclusion) that I am aware of is per legal appeal.

      Interior Board of Land Appeals known as IBLA.

      I hope someone else with legal experience can answer your question here for all of us, Barbara.


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