BLM Logo
Northern California District
Release Date: 06/15/11
Contacts: Jeff Fontana , 530-252-5332  
News Release No. CA-N-11-56

BLM Seeking Public Comments on Environmental Analysis for Wild Horse Roundup

The Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Surprise Field Office is seeking public comments on an environmental assessment (EA) addressing wild horse population management, including a proposed roundup and removal of an overpopulation of wild horses, from five herd management areas collectively referenced as the High Rock Complex in far western Nevada.

The EA, titled “High Rock Complex Wild Horse Population Management Plan,” is available online at   Those who prefer the document in written or computer disc form should contact the BLM Surprise Field Office at (530) 279-6101.  A 30-day public comment period runs through Friday, July 15.     The BLM will consider comments in developing a Decision Record to be released this summer.

Comments can be sent to Surprise Field Office, Attn: High Rock Complex, PO Box 460, Cedarville, CA  96104. Comments may also be sent via email to  To be most helpful, comments should be specific to the alternatives presented in the EA.
The BLM proposes removing about 1,090 wild horses from the Bitner, Nut Mountain, High Rock, Fox Hog and Wall Canyon herd management areas to bring the population to within the appropriate management level.  Additionally, about 400 wild horses roaming outside of established HMAs would be removed from the range in accordance with the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act. If needed, wild horses would be added to specific herd management areas to bring population levels up to the appropriate management level (AML).
The BLM intends to return the population of horses to its (AML), or population range, established through the Surprise Field Office Resource Management Plan, developed with full public involvement in 2008.  The AML, established through rangeland monitoring data, is the number of animals the range can sustain in balance with other range users including wildlife and permitted livestock.  There is no permitted livestock grazing in some areas of the High Rock Complex.
The current wild horse population is estimated at 1,326 animals, including about 400 that are roaming outside of established herd management areas.   The combined appropriate management level for the HMAs in the complex is 258 to 451 wild horses.   Overpopulation of wild horses is resulting in ongoing resource damage that is analyzed in the environmental assessment.
Wild horse populations would be confirmed in two inventory flights prior to any roundup operations, and again after operations are completed.

The EA discusses the environmental effects of several roundup alternatives, including use of fertility control and sex ratio structuring, and the consequences of taking no action.

The proposed action would restore a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple use relationship in the area consistent with the provisions of Section 3(b) (2) of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.


Northern California District   355 Hemsted Drive      Redding, CA 96002  

Last updated: 06-15-2011