After a one-day delay because of muddy conditions, the McCullough Peaks Round-up is over.
The BLM claims that the 110,000 acre conditions are becoming ‘degraded’. I just do not believe that. In fact, in late 2004 (just after my very first visit), the BLM removed around 400 horses from McCullough! So the land can support many more.
The horses, unless they are old or injured, are in healthy condition, and even fat, as having built up much of their reserves for the harsh Wyoming winters. The horses will eat just about anything including sage, a fast spreading, and poor nutrient plant that cattle will not eat.
The water reservoirs are still holding water too after the summer.
I am still trying to find out if one of my personal favorite horses, Bridger, was removed. (see his photos below)
I am happy to announce that no horses were killed or injured during this particular round-up. Cattoor was the contractor. Small foals & their Mothers were separated from the other adults to prevent injury to the foals. That is much better results than in the past many years of round-ups. Perhaps since the Public is paying more attention to Round-ups we will continue to see fewer injuries or deaths during these stressful ordeals.
The BLM did not remove all 122 horses as they had planned.
193 horses were captured by helicopter over several days. 93 horses were removed, leaving only 120 head on McCullough Peaks (110,000 acres). Many of the returned mares were also darted with the birth control drug PZP, so we’ll see fewer births in the next few years.
Studies show that at least 150 head are needed for safe genetics, so now the amazing McCullough Peaks Range is below safe Genetics Levels – like so many other ranges.
The 93 removed horses have been shipped to Rock Springs until next Spring. Stallions will be gelded, all are freeze branded, and some may even be ‘gentled’ at a top-dollar expense. – a taxpayers expense for the next 6 months.
So far, plans for their adoption will be in the Spring of 2010, perhaps the horses will be shipped back near Cody Wyoming for the adoption.
Meanwhile the Market, for all horses, is down, and its very low for Wild Horses. There are very few people who can house, train, and care for a Wild Animal.
Only approx. 3,000 were adopted last year, and nearly 12,000 horses are planned to be removed this fiscal year. So the round-ups are being conducted at an amazingly fast, unprecedented, and very costly pace.
The McCullough Peaks Range is a favorite for many of the local citizens of Cody, Powell, Lovell, as well as travelers to the Yellowstone Area. These Wild Horses can be easily viewed along or just off of the Highway. The local citizens too are voicing their concerns, but it seems to be going to a silent BLM ear.