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Last Updated:
10/18/2012 17:08:49 MDT
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Owyhee Complex Horse Gather Plan

The BLM Winnemucca District Office, Humboldt River Field Office and the Elko District Office, Tuscarora Field Office have each entered a Decision based on the analysis presented in the Environmental Assessment for the Owyhee Complex Horse Gather (EA).  The Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and Decision Record (DR) are available through the Documents link at left.

The EA analyzed the impacts of the BLM's proposal to gather and remove excess wild horses from the Little Humboldt, Little Owyhee, Owyhee, Snowstorm Mountains, and Rock Creek Herd Management Areas, commonly referred to as the Owyhee Complex gather area, located 50 miles northeast of Winnemucca, in the northeast corner of Humboldt County and the northwest corner of Elko County, Nevada. 

Alternatives analyzed for the proposed gather plan included:

 

Alternative A. Phased-in Gather and Selective Removal of Excess Wild Horses with Population Growth Control using fertility control treatments (PZP-22 or most current formulations), and sex ratio adjustments.

Alternative B. Gathers and Selective Removal of Excess Wild Horses to Low End AML with Population Growth Control using fertility control treatments (PZP-22 or most current formulations) and sex ratio adjustments.

Alternative C. Gathers and Remove Excess Animals to within AML without Fertility Control or Sex Ratio Adjustment.

Alternative D.  No Action

The gather is currently proposed for November 2012 and is needed to remove excess wild horses to help prevent further deterioration of range conditions, reduce population growth rates, achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance and maintain healthy wild horse populations. High wild horse numbers combined with low precipitation have resulted in poor forage and water conditions in the HMA. If the situation continues to escalate, wild horses may need to be gathered earlier than proposed. Helicopter drive trap and/or bait trapping may be considered. The impacts of not removing any horses are also considered.

A helicopter would be utilized to herd the animals to temporary corrals, located outside of wilderness study areas. No landing of aircraft would occur in wilderness study areas except for emergency purposes, and no motorized vehicles would be used in wilderness study areas in association with gather operations except for emergency purposes.

The public commenting period on the alternatives being analyzed in the EA was available from Friday, September 7, 2012 until Tuesday, October 9, 2012.  Written comments were reviewed and considered in the development of the final EA.

To view the Environmental Assessment, Findings of No Significant Impact, and Decision Records from each field office, follow the Documents link at left. 

 
 
 
Links at left contain the following items:

Documents:

Dear Interested Pubic Letter (10/18/12)

Decision Record (Tuscarora Field Office)
Decision Record (Humboldt River Field Office)
Information on Taking Appeals Form 1842

Final Environmental Assessment (including maps)

Finding of No Significant Impact (Tuscarora Field Office)
Finding of No Significant Impact (Humboldt River Field Office)

Dear Interested Public letter (09/07/12)
Preliminary Environmental Assessment (including maps and appendices)

 
Contact Information: Project Lead contact information

How to get Involved:  Information on when and how comments were accepted

Maps:
 
Figure 1 - Owyhee Complex Gather Area
Figure 10 - Sage Grouse Preliminary Priority Habitat and Preliminary General Habitat in and near Owyhee Complex
Figure 13 - Livestock Grazing Allotments in and near Owyhee Complex
Figure 15 - Wilderness Study Areas in and near Owyhee Complex
Figure 16 - Fire History within and around Owyhee Complex