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BLM Wild Horse Roundups Must Stop

Owyhee, Rock Creek and Little Humboldt HMAs Nevada BLM Proposed Wild Horse Gather

Owyhee, Rock Creek and Little Humboldt Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in Elko County Nevada, about 90 miles northwest of Elko, Nevada. - Gather Proposed for July 2010.

Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather Preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) Available for Public Comment

On 4/26/10, the BLM requested substantive comments on the EA by May 21, 2010. Comments received during the public review period will be analyzed and considered as part of the decision-making process.

COMMENTS DUE TODAY FRIDAY, MAY 21, 2010

Dave Overcast, Tuscarora Field Manager
Tuscarora Field Office
BLM Elko District Office
3900 Idaho Street, Elko, NV 89801

E-mail to: Tuscarora_horse_gathers@blm.gov (Tuscarora_horse_gathers@blm.gov).

Wild Horse Preservation has a great sample letter to use.

The Owyhee, Rock Creek, and Little Humboldt HMAs are managed by the Tuscarora Field Office (TFO) of the BLM.

According to the Environmental Assessment (EA) of the Tuscarora Field Office issued April 2010, the HMAs encompass 454,634 acres of PUBLIC land and the Appropriate Management Level (AML) is only 337-561 horses.

The Proposed Action for the Owyhee, Rock Creek and Little Humboldt HMAs is to gather up to 1,438 wild horses, remove approximately 953-1,039 "excess" wild horses (approximately 595 in the Owyhee HMA and approximately 358 from outside the Rock Creek HMA and approximately 26-86 weanling to 4 years old mares from the Rock Creek and Little Humboldt HMAs), and to apply fertility control and/or manage sex ratios of up to 399 gathered wild horses that would be released back into the HMAs.  They will also be freeze-marked. All wild horses outside the HMA boundaries will be permanently removed.  Helicopter drive-trapping method would be used and would include multiple trap sites.

Decisions to humanely euthanize (translation = shoot) animals in field situations will be made in conformance with BLM policy.  43 CFR § 4740.1 states that herding shall be conducted in a humane manner. If herding is conducted humanely, why would there be a need to shoot them?  According the BLM. they will release or euthanize wild horses and burros that will not tolerate the handling stress associated with transportation, adoption preparation or holding. However, the authorized officer should, as an act of mercy, euthanize, not release, any animal which exhibits significant tooth loss or wear to the extent their quality of life would suffer. 

Excess animals would be sent to Bureau facilities for adoption, sale, or long-term holding.  Yes, the BLM intends to SELL our wild horses.

The EA states that to effectively apply fertility control to mares and/or adjust sex ratios, the gather operation would need to capture at least 81-90% of the entire wild horse population within the Owyhee, Rock Creek and Little Humboldt HMAs.

Approximately 139 wild horses in the Owyhee HMA, 200 in the Rock Creek HMA, and 60 in the Little Humboldt HMA would be released back to the range following the gather.

Animals would be removed using a selective removal strategy: 1st priority – age 5 years and younger; 2nd priority – age 6-15; 3rd priority – age 16 and older.

The EA states that the alternative to remove none of the wild horses and instead remove or reduce livestock with the HMAs WAS NOT ANALYZED IN DETAIL.  They state this alternative was not brought forward for analysis because it is inconsistent with the 1987 Elko RMP ROD, the 2003 Elko RMP Wild Horse Amendment and the WFRHBA which directs the Secretary to immediately remove excess wild horses. This alternative is also inconsistent with the BLM‟s multiple use management mission under the 1976 FLPMA. Additionally, livestock grazing can only be reduced or eliminated following the process outlined in the regulations found at 43 CFR Part 4100 and 4700. Such changes to livestock grazing cannot be made through a wild horse gather decision. Furthermore, even with the current situation of significantly reduced levels of livestock grazing within the Owyhee, Rock Creek and Little Humboldt HMAs, there is insufficient habitat for the current population of wild horses. As a result, this alternative was not analyzed in detail.

 

Bachelor wild horse band – Owyhee HMA

Comments (6) -

  • zel hofer

    5/21/2010 2:42:11 PM | Reply


            Shame on you , greedy , cruel and unscrupulous  Americans!
            Are you the GODS????  Must you ruin every beauty on this world???
            THIS IS 21st CENTURY------GET SOME PSYCHIC QUALITIES, IT'S ABOUT TIME!
            YOU SHOULD NOT LOOK AT EVERY POINT THROUGH BLOODY MONEY!!!!!
          

    • jae

      5/22/2010 11:56:35 PM | Reply


              I understand that you are required by law to take public imput but follow the law and Don't listen to the uninformed people who live in cities or don't even LIVE in the USA. I enjoy seeing wild herds of horses in CA, OR and NV but I understand the need for balance.
              Some of my best horses have been 'wild' horses that were adopted by people who found out that the wild horses were more than they could handle.
              Gather the horses, thin the herds and reduce the overgrazing, starvation and disease that comes with overcrowding. Horses are not Native to these lands and the city folk and foreigners who get so outraged can come to the adoption centers and take the gathered horses to live in their back yards. Continue culling the herds and improving the wild population.
            

  • Patricia Lulay

    5/22/2010 7:54:40 PM | Reply


            To Whom It May Concern:

            I write in opposition to the plan by the Tuscarora Field Office to round up 1,400 wild horses from the Owyhee, Rock Creek & Little Humboldt Herd Management Areas (HMAs) and permanently remove 1,000 of these mustangs in a round up scheduled to begin in July 2010. The preliminary Environmental Assessment for this capture plan is inadequate for the following reasons:

            1. The EA fails to adequately consider realistic alternatives to the permanent removal of 1,000 horses from the range. These include options for range improvements (such as repair to damaged water springs) as well as aggressive fertility control through round up and vaccination of all mares with PZP immunocontraception before release back to the range.

            The Appropriate Management Levels (AMLs) of 337-561 wild horses established for these three HMA’s, which comprise more than 480,000 acres (more than 750-square miles), appear to be artificially and arbitrarily low. The BLM has been found repeatedly, most recently in 2008 by the Government Accountability Office, to arbitrarily set AMLs for wild horses.

            2. The EA fails to give serious consideration to an alternative that would reduce livestock grazing within these HMAs. The agency clearly has the authority to implement this alternative pursuant to 43 C.F.R. 4710.5(a), which allows for closure of livestock grazing on areas of public lands “if necessary to provide habitat for wild horses or burros, to implement herd management actions, or to protect wild horses or burros, to implement herd management actions, or to protect wild horses or burros from disease, harassment or injury.” Currently, BLM authorizes the equivalent of more than 4,000 cow/calf pairs to graze per year within the three HMAs in question, and actual use is reported at the equivalent of over 1,000 head per year.

            3. The EA fails to adequately evaluate the impacts to the horses of helicopter stampede and permanent warehousing in BLM holding pens and pastures. A recent report by the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign on the deaths of wild horses as a result of the roundup in the Calico Mountains Complex, found a vast majority of those fatalities were related to the stress and trauma from capture, loss of freedom and the destruction of wild horse family bands. The report included the opinion of Dr. Bruce Nock, Associate Professor at the Washington University School of Medicine and expert on the physiological effects of stress on animals that the capture and removal of wild horses “is extremely detrimental to their long-term health and soundness.”

            4. The EA states that wild horse AMLs and livestock grazing levels are set by existing land use plans, but fails to consider the fact that these plans are not set in stone and the agency, through its adaptive management policy, has the discretion to re-assess and amend them to address these matters.

            5. The EA fails to evaluate alternatives for meeting the BLM’s “multiple use” mandate without livestock grazing by maximizing opportunities for wildlife, wild horses, recreational use, and ecotourism.

            In conclusion, the Tuscarora Field Office’s plan to permanently remove 1,000 wild horses from the range and warehouse the majority of these horses in long-term holding pastures violates the intent of Congress that America’s wild horses be managed on the range in a humane and minimally-intrusive manner that preserves their wild and free-roaming behavior. As such, the agency is obligated to seriously assess alternatives to this mass capture and removal plan, something that this EA has failed to do.

            As a result, I ask that the roundup of horses from the Owyhee, Rock Creek and Little Humboldt HMAs be canceled.

            I have read this statement and adopt the conclusions as my own.

            Patricia Lulay
          

  • Videos

    10/12/2010 8:18:52 AM | Reply

    Why you always have to break the nature apart?? Let the nature to take her course , let the wild to be wild , people occur with nature and bad thinks happens ... hope you will take all the measures to keep it natural and don't make a big mistake !

  • Sahara

    11/19/2010 3:02:46 AM | Reply

    The EA fails to adequately consider realistic alternatives to the permanent removal of 1,000 horses from the range. These include options for range improvements (such as repair to damaged water springs) as well as aggressive fertility control through round up and vaccination of all mares with PZP immunocontraception before release back to the range.The Appropriate Management Levels (AMLs) of 337-561 wild horses established for these three HMA’s, which comprise more than 480,000 acres (more than 750-square miles), appear to be artificially and arbitrarily low. The BLM has been found repeatedly, most recently in 2008 by the Government Accountability Office, to arbitrarily set AMLs for wild horses.

  • 4wildhorses

    12/30/2010 2:58:41 AM | Reply

            1438 is so small number for wild horses.
            i sorry about it, i think the number of wild horses will decrease in years.
          

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