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Date:  June 11, 2008
Contact:  Mary Apple (406) 896-5258 

BLM Seeks Comments on Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range Management Area Plan and Preliminary Environmental Assessment

The BLM Billings Field Office is asking the public to review and comment on the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range (PMWHR) Draft Herd Management Area Plan and Preliminary Environmental Assessment. 

The Billings Field Office, Custer National Forest, and Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area are proposing a comprehensive approach to wild horse management in the PMWHR through a revision of the herd management area plan. The current herd management area plan was adopted in 1984 and amended in 1992. The environmental assessment is a site-specific analysis of impacts that could occur with the implementation of the proposed action or alternatives to the proposed action. 

The plan would re-establish the appropriate management level (AML) and is based on the February 2008 PMWHR Evaluation. Under the proposed action, the AML would increase from the current 85-105 wild horses to a population range of 90-120 wild horses, excluding the current years foal crop. The population would be managed from the low AML, allowing the population to grow to the high AML, using a combination of population control techniques including gathers, fertility control, natural means, or a combination of prescriptions. The proposed action would also involve development of several water sources, riparian protection and development, fuels reductions, integrated noxious weed treatment, range improvement, wildlife habitat enhancement, specific protections of sensitive plants, enhanced livestock trailing management, and reconstruction and extension of the north boundary fence. 

Comments should be submitted by July 11 to the Billings Field Office, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, MT 59101or emailed to MT_Wildhorse@blm.gov. For more information, contact Jared Bybee, BLM State Wild Horse and Burro Specialist, at (406) 896-5223. The plan and EA are available online at http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/fo/billings_field_office/wildhorses/pryorherd.html. A hard copy is available upon request by contacting the Billings Field Office at 406-896-5013.   

The 39,000-acre Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range straddles the Montana/Wyoming border 60 miles south of Billings on lands under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and Forest Service.