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September 24, 2010
In Reply Refer To:
4700 (260) P
Instruction Memorandum No. 2010-130, Change 1
Expires: 09/30/2011
To:         All Field Officials (except Alaska)
From:     Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning
Subject: Wild Horse and Burro Gather Decisions
Program Areas: Wild Horse and Burro Program and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Purpose: The purpose of this Instruction Memorandum (IM) is to correct errors inadvertently made in IM 2010-130. The referenced IM establishes policy and guidance with respect to wild horse and burro (WH&B) gather decisions. 
Policy/Action: This IM corrects IM No. 2010-130, as follows:
Unless an emergency situation exists, it is the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) policy to:
1.            Provide the public 30 days to review and comment on the NEPA document, which is typically an Environmental Assessment (EA) that documents and analyzes the environmental effects of implementing a Gather Plan. Thirty days shall also be provided for the public review and comment on any Determination of NEPA Adequacy (DNA) documenting that a Gather Plan has already been adequately analyzed by existing NEPA documents.
2.            Issue the authorized officer’s decision 31 to 76 days prior to the proposed gather start.
To ensure the above timeframes can be met, a suggested timeline for the tasks that need to be completed prior to conducting a gather is included in Attachment 1 (Checklist for Wild Horse and Burro Gather Planning).   Use of the attached checklist should assist the authorized officer in meeting these objectives.


A. Public Review and Comment
The authorized officer shall make Gather Plan EAs and DNAs available to interested individuals, groups, and agencies for a 30-day review and comment period, except when an emergency situation exists (see IM 2009-085, Managing Gathers Resulting from Escalating Problems and Emergency Situations). The NEPA document(s) identified in the DNA (e.g., the EA, and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)) will also be made available to the public for information.  
The authorized officer should consider substantive comments and summarize how they were addressed.  This summary should be presented in a revised NEPA document, revised DNA, or the decision document for the Gather Plan. See H-1790-1, National Environmental Policy Handbook (Chapter 6.9) for additional information about how to respond to substantive comments. 
B.  Decision Issuance
1.            Unless an emergency situation exists, gather decisions shall be issued a minimum of 31 days prior to the proposed gather start. Issuing the decision 76 days prior to the proposed gather start is preferred to provide an opportunity for administrative review of the authorized officer’s decision to be completed. 
2.            In accordance with 43 CFR 4770.3(c): 
  • The authorized officer will issue gather decisions effective upon a date established in the decision in situations where the removal is required by applicable law, or is necessary to preserve or maintain a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship.
  • When an emergency situation exists, and timeframes permit, a Gather Plan EA should be prepared and the decision should be made effective upon issuance. 
3.            Gather decisions may authorize gathers with or without fertility control, release, or relocation of selected animals, and any other action integral to the successful completion of the planned gather. Decisions not related to the gather are typically governed by the administrative time frames, provided in 43 CFR 4.21. 
Timeframe: This IM is effective immediately.
Budget Impact: None.
Background:  Change one corrects errors inadvertently made in the IM.


Manual/Handbook Sections Affected:  No change to the BLM manuals or handbooks is required.

Coordination: This IM was coordinated among WO200 and WO260 staff, and State WH&B Program Leads.

Contact:  If you have any questions regarding this memorandum, please call Susie Stokke at
Signed by:                                                        Authenticated by:
Edwin L. Roberson                                           Robert M. Williams
Assistant Director                                            Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Renewable Resources and Planning
1 Attachment

Last updated: 09-28-2010