U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Rock Springs Field Office
|Release Date: 05/10/13|
Adobe Town/Salt Wells Creek Wild Horse Gather EA Available
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Rawlins and Rock Springs field offices are launching a 30-day public comment period on an environmental assessment (EA) to gather excess wild horses from the Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek (ATSW) Herd Management Areas (HMAs).
The two HMAs are managed collectively as the ATSW Complex due to wild horse movement between the two areas. The Complex is located in the checkerboard pattern of mixed public, private, and state land ownership in Sweetwater and Carbon counties, stretching from Interstate 80 south to the Wyoming/Colorado border. The BLM respects private land owner rights while managing wild horse populations. The ATSW Complex includes approximately 510,308 acres which are privately held. This gather would reduce landowner conflicts where the wild horses stray onto private lands.
Population surveys conducted in May 2012 found approximately 1,005 wild horses in the ATSW Complex. However, wild horse populations are expected to increase by approximately 20 percent with the 2012 and 2013 foaling seasons, bringing the population in the ATSW Complex to an estimated 1,447 wild horses by summer.
The appropriate management level (AML) for the ATSW Complex is 861-1,165 wild horses. The gather is necessary to maintain the wild horse herds toward the lower range of the established AMLs in compliance with the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, and the 2003 Wyoming Consent Decree. The AML for the ATSW Complex was established through an agreement with private land owners and wild horse advocacy groups. It was confirmed in the 1997 Green River Resource Management Plan (RMP) and through the 2008 Approved Rawlins RMP. The proposed gather is anticipated in 2013.
The proposed action in the EA is also in conformance with the Consent Decree with the Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA) ordered by the U.S. District Court on April 3, 2013, to remove all wild horses from private lands within the checkerboard portion of the ATSW Complex in 2013. According to the Consent Decree, if the numbers are likely to exceed 200 wild horses within the checkerboard portion of the ATSW Complex, the BLM shall prepare to remove the wild horses from the private lands.
The ATSW Complex was last gathered in fall 2010. During that gather, 99 mares released back to the HMAs were administered the PZP fertility control vaccine. Fertility control is an alternative being considered in the EA.
Public comments are most helpful if they cite specific actions or impacts, and offer supporting factual information or data. Written comments should be received by June 10, and may be emailed only to AdobeTown_SaltWells_HMA_WY@blm.gov (please list “ATSW Comment” in the subject line), mailed or hand-delivered during regular business hours (7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) to: The BLM Rock Springs Field Office, ATSW Comment, 280 Highway 191 N., Rock Springs, WY 82901.
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 made publicly available at any time. While you may ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
For more information, please contact BLM Wild Horse Specialist Jay D’Ewart at 307-352-0256.
Note to editor: A link to the EA and map of the proposed project area can be found at www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/documents/rfo/atsw-gather.html.
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.
Rock Springs Field Office 280 Highway 191 North Rock Springs, WY 82901
|Last updated: 05-10-2013|
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