Our apologies to be late in posting (comments were due on March 5th) but please click Twin Peaks Comments if you would like to read The Cloud Foundation’s response to the proposed Twin Peaks Roundup in N. California of 1800 mustangs and 180 burros. The Cloud Foundation opposes this proposed roundup.
Some key points:
- The “appropriate management levels” (AML) for both wild horses and burros are incredibly low given the thousands of head of livestock permitted to graze on these public lands contained within the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area (HMA). Removing burros down to the high AML of 116 still leaves them far short of genetic viability, for which a base level of 150 has been established as a minimal number to insure the herd’s future survival without inbreeding.
- 10,460 cattle and up to 22,000 sheep are permitted to graze on the whole of the Twin Peaks area (78% of which is the HMA), while a maximum of only 874 wild horses and burros are permitted on the bulk of that same public land. Most scientists and range managers agree that wild horses do no more damage than cattle to public lands and in fact, far less.
- The last census of the Twin Peaks HMA was completed in 2008. The reported herd size in Twin Peaks on February 29, 2008, as reported by the National BLM office, was 1,122 wild horses and 169 burros. According to the current estimated population numbers in the scoping letter (2,300 wild horses and 250 burros) the horses have managed to double their population in two years and the burros have increased by over 20% year. Although the National BLM’s standard methods of calculating the current population by applying a 20% per year increase, are not accurate, the population increase in Twin Peaks is biologically impossible for horses with a nearly one-year gestation period and low level of twinning. Population estimates in general by the BLM ignore the fact that wild horse herds do not increase by 20% per year (an attrition rate of 10-12% is more accurate but varies from year to year and herd to herd of course). Also, mountain lion predation and natural death are rarely, if ever, taken into account when estimating population. (Complete Scoping Letter Comments)
To be added to the Twin Peaks mailing list in order to receive notices of public comment periods and plans please contact the Eagle Lake Field Office by email or phone: (530) 257-0456. We will also post documents here as they become available. This roundup is proposed to begin on August 11th according to the most recent Roundup_Schedule. You can see a map of the small number of Herd Management Areas left in California here.