Diamond wild horses await return to the range

Today, April 3, 2013,  Laura Leigh went to the Northern Nevada Correctional facility to visit with the 30 original (plus an additional two) wild horses rounded up from the Diamond Complex that have been being held for release back into the wild.

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Considering the area that they came from (the Battle Mountain portion of the  Diamond Complex), which is an area that was seriously compromised by drought and the severity of the winter, these horses are doing very well as they await their return to the range.

Final numbers are being determined for return to the range after treatment with PZP-22, a birth control agent. A total of 792 wild horses were taken into corrals. Originally 603 horses were planned for removal.


Wild Horse Education (WHE) did survey work of the area. A report of our study can be found within a previous blog post here: https://wheblog.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/diamond-roundup-begins/ . This link also has a video showing Boyd Spratling, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro (WH&B) Advisory Board chair AND livestock interest representative for the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDoA), giving a ‘report’ and asking that the NDoA request that BLM remove all wild horse populations in the state to low “AML.” We highly suggest you download our report and watch Boyd Spratling speak and then ask yourself, should this man be allowed to sit on the WH&B Advisory Board?

For more insight into the issues surrounding Diamond (including a map detailing the significant fencing in the HMA that effectively cuts it in half) see this link: https://wheblog.wordpress.com/2013/01/27/snowed-in-and-information-on-diamond-complex-wild-horse-roundup/

The roundup is over. It is time to begin the discussion on what actually is a defined VIABLE USE as mandated under law (FLPMA and the WH&B Act) of wild horses on the range? What resource is required to sustain that use as outlined by law? Its also time to recognize that multiple use is not being followed when a wild horse or burro population within a Herd Management Area (HMA) exists below that viability standard. That is the law.

Many of the horses that arrived at Palomino Valley Center (PVC) from the Battle Mountain portion of the Complex looked compromised, whereas horses from the Ely/Elko areas looked normal for February. It is important to bear in mind that the Battle Mountain area has many, many fences that are cutting horses off from needed resources. Considering the extensive over use of Battle Mountain area for decades by certain users, in combination with  the drought and the historically manipulated laws… the horses look better than expected. Wild Horse Education (WHE)  has been watching the horses as they transitioned to feed.

BLM, in the Battle Mountain District portion of the Complex that is shared by Ely and Elko districts, restricted livestock use and monitored animals. They took some pro-active action during  last summer’s drought and should be applauded for the effort. However, now it’s time to correct the mistakes that created the situation so that it  never happens again. Restrictions remain in place yet must be monitored closely to make sure they allow the range to recover. If the restrictions do not allow the range to recover they will need to be expanded.

Ninetieen yearlings were offered for adoption at the fire station in Eureka after the roundup ended. Eleven horses were adopted and and eight were shipped to Palomino Valley (PVC).

Wild Horse Education (WHE)  looks forward to seeing these wonderful horses now at the prison safely returned to the range and will monitor their progress. We look forward to sharing the experience with you as we work to “Keep Them in The Wild.”

Help keep us in the field and the courtroom!