ELKO, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM); Winnemucca District, Humboldt River Field Office and Elko District BLM, Tuscarora Field Office are making the Preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Owyhee Complex Wild Horse Gather Plan available to the public for review until Oct. 9. The proposed gather is planned to begin in November and would include removing excess wild horses from inside and outside of the Owyhee Complex; adjusting sex ratios to favor males; and treating mares with a fertility control agent.
The complex is comprised of the Little Humboldt, Little Owyhee, Owyhee, Rock Creek and Snowstorm Mountains Herd Management Areas (HMAs) and is located approximately 60 miles north of Battle Mountain, Nev. The Owyhee, Rock Creek and Little Humboldt HMAs are managed by the Tuscarora Field Office and the Little Owyhee and Snowstorm HMAs are managed by the Humboldt River Field Office.
The Complex consists of approximately 1,055,023 total acres, but the gather area lies within 2,047,281 acres which encompasses lands outside the HMA where wild horses are residing. Wild horses have moved outside the HMAs in search of forage, water and space due to current overpopulation of wild horses in the HMAs.
There are currently an estimated 2,252 wild horses within the complex as based on an inventory conducted in May 2011 and includes this year’s foals. The appropriate management level (AML) is 621-999 wild horses, leaving an excess of 1,253-1,631 wild horses.
Removing the excess wild horses will help to prevent further deterioration of the range in an effort to achieve a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship as required under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, and Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as well as help to achieve and maintain healthy, viable wild horse populations.
The public is encouraged to review the EA, located here, www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/wfo/blm_information/nepa0.html under Wild Horses and Burros, and provide comments or concerns about this proposed gather and removal of wild horses in writing, prior to 4:30 p.m. (PST) on Oct. 9, to the BLM Winnemucca District Office, Attention: Bonnie Million, Project Coordinator, 5100 E. Winnemucca Blvd., Winnemucca, NV 89445 or to the BLM Elko District Office, Attn: Tuscarora Field Manager, 3900 E. Idaho St., Elko, NV 89801, faxed to (775) 623-1503 (Winnemucca) or (775) 753-0255 (Elko), or emailed to: OwyheeComplexEA@blm.gov.
Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be publicly available at any time. While you can ask that your personal identifying information be withheld from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Anonymity is not allowed for submissions from organizations or businesses and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2012, activities on public lands generated $4.6 billion in revenue, much of which was shared with the States where the activities occurred. In addition, public lands contributed more than $112 billion to the U.S. economy and helped support more than 500,000 jobs.