BLM halts Nev. wild-horse roundup short of goal
RENO, Nev. — A day after announcing it would scale back costly roundups of wild horses across the West, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management abruptly halted a controversial gather of mustangs in northeastern Nevada.
The roundup ended Friday with the removal of 1,368 horses from the range in the 1.3 million-acre Antelope Complex about 60 miles south of Wells, which was short of the agency’s goal of gathering about 2,000 mustangs there, said BLM spokeswoman Heather Jasinski.
She said the halt to the roundup that began on Jan. 23 had nothing to do with BLM Director Bob Abbey’s announcement Thursday that the agency will reduce the number of wild horses removed from the range by about one-quarter — to 7,600 a year.
The action also didn’t stem from a Feb. 16 House vote in favor of an amendment to cut the agency’s budget by $2 million to protest the roundups, she added.
It was called off because of high winds that frequently grounded a helicopter used to herd horses, Jasinski said, and the dispersal of mustangs into smaller groups that made them more difficult to gather.