BLM accepting public comments on wild horse and burro management
SUSANVILLE, Calif. – The Bureau of Land Management today released for public review and comment a preliminary environmental assessment analyzing a range of alternatives for managing wild horses and burros on public lands along the California-Nevada border northeast of Susanville.
The Twin Peaks Herd Management Area Wild Horse and Burro Gather Plan is available online at the BLM’s planning website: https://bit.ly/2YVsUnL. Copies in other formats are available by contacting Amanda Gearhart, the BLM Northern California District wild horse and burro program specialist, at 530-257-0456.
“Our goal is to establish and maintain healthy wild horses on healthy lands in balance with other authorized range users,” said Brian Novosak, manager of the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office. “The wild horse and burro population in the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area has grown well beyond the population range established in our land use plan. This plan examines the environmental impacts of several approaches that would reduce the size of the wild herds over a 10-year period. We also analyze in this plan the impacts of taking no action.”
Novosak said public comments on the preliminary document will be useful to the BLM multi-disciplinary staff developing the final plan that would be issued along with a decision to implement the population management actions. He said comments should be specific to be most helpful to the BLM.
Comments can be submitted by email to BLM_CA_twinpeaksgather@blm.gov. The BLM will also accept comments sent by mail to Bureau of Land Management, 2550 Riverside Dr., Susanville, CA 96130, attention Twin Peaks EA, or hand-delivered to the above address. The BLM must receive comments by Monday, July 1.
The Twin Peaks HMA covers nearly 800,000 acres in Lassen County, California, and Washoe County, Nevada. Based on recent census flights and population growth estimates, the BLM believes there at about 3,500 wild horses and 600 wild burros in the HMA. The appropriate management level for wild horses is a minimum of 448 and a maximum of 758 animals. The AML for burros ranges from 72 to 116 animals.
Wild horses and burros are protected on BLM-managed lands by the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, a federal law. The law requires the BLM to determine population levels that allow wild herds to thrive in balance with other range users including wildlife and livestock.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in the 11 Western states and Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals.