BLM launches public scoping period for proposed wild horse gather and population growth suppression plan
SALT LAKE CITY — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Salt Lake Field Office is launching a 30-day public scoping period starting today through March 5, 2022, to help inform an environmental assessment for a proposed wild horse population control plan for the Cedar Mountain Herd Management Area.
In order to protect the landscape health of the Cedar Mountain area and the overall health of the wild horse herd, the Salt Lake Field Office proposes to gather and remove excess wild horses to the low Appropriate Management Level, which is the number of wild horses that the area can support. The current population of wild horses on the Cedar Mountain area is estimated at 790 animals, excluding 2022 foals, with the Appropriate Management Level set at 190 to 390 horses. The BLM estimates that more than 600 wild horses need be removed from the Cedar Mountain area to ensure a healthy landscape. The proposed gather would take place no sooner than fall 2022.
The proposed fertility control comes in response to resource impacts caused by the current overpopulation of wild horses. Identifying long-term management requirements of the herd management area includes determination of strategies and techniques that maintain herd health, control wild horse numbers inside and adjacent to the HMA to stay within the established appropriate management level, and properly manage wild horse numbers to minimize use of adjacent rangeland resources.
To comply with regulations, the BLM will conduct scoping and will prepare an environmental assessment for the proposal. Scoping activities identify reasonable alternatives to be evaluated in the environmental analysis that meet the purpose and need of the project. Through this process, environmental issues related to the proposed gather are identified, the depth of analysis for issues addressed in the environmental document determined, and potential mitigation for population control are identified.
The environmental assessment will disclose to the public the potential environmental consequences of the project and alternative(s), identify all practical means to avoid or minimize environmental harm from the project and alternatives, and provide the responsible official with information upon which to make an informed decision regarding the project.
Interested members of the public, local governments, Tribal members, organizations, and other stakeholders are encouraged to provide comments during this public scoping period to help identify alternatives, refine the proposed action, clarify issues, and identify new issues.
All comments must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. on March 5, 2022, to be considered. Written comments will be accepted at the address below or through the BLM’s NEPA register at https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2017715/510. Please refer to Project Number: DOI-BLM-UT-W010-2022-0005-EA
Salt Lake Field Office
Attention: Tami Howell
491 North John Glenn Road
Salt Lake City, UT 84116
Please be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, it is not guaranteed.
For additional information, please contact Tami Howell at (435) 743-3190. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question for the above individual. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.