BLM seeks input on 10-year wild horse plan | RecordCourier.com

BLM seeks input on 10-year wild horse plan

Staff Reports

Federal officials are seeking public input on the management of wild horses in the Pine Nut Mountains.

The Bureau of Land Management, Sierra Front Field Office will be developing a 10-year plan to manage wild horses in the Pine Nut Mountains that could include wild horse gathers, implementation of population growth control measures, public education and outreach, habitat improvement-restoration, and monitoring protocols.

The goal is to maintain or restore a thriving natural ecological balance of wild horses and their habitat. Public comments will be accepted through July 6.

The Pine Nut Mountains Herd Management Area, an area designated for the management of wild horses and their habitat, is located within the Pine Nut Mountains. The Pine Nut Mountains are located in Carson City, Douglas, and Lyon counties. In April, the BLM conducted an inventory of the Pine Nut Mountains and observed 536 wild horses. The appropriate management level for the area is 119-179 animals. Thirty-nine percent of the wild horses were observed outside the area, including in Fish Springs, Deer Run Road and Dayton. The BLM has published a final summary of current conditions for the area that concludes that vegetative trends and riparian functional assessments for springs demonstrate that wild horses are a causal factor in the deterioration of conditions.

The purpose of the proposed plan would be to address the following issues:

■ Prevent the degradation of public lands within and outside the herd management area;

■ Address nuisance and other wild horses that are residing outside the area in areas that are not managed for wild horse habitat or that contribute to public safety concerns such as property damage and vehicle collisions;

■ Address long-term population trends within and outside the herd management area; and

■ Manage wild horses in a manner that supports meeting bistate sage grouse habitat objectives.

For this plan, the BLM will be preparing an environmental assessment to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act. The draft environmental assessment would assess the direct, indirect and cumulative effects from the proposed plan and alternatives.

For more information, maps and a copy of the final summary of current conditions, go to http://1.usa.gov/1t1Opmz

Send comments to: Wild Horse and Burro Specialist John Axtell, 5665 Morgan Mill Road, Carson City, Nevada 89701 or email at PineNutHorses@blm.gov.

Comments can also be faxed to: 885-6147 Attn: John Axtell. For more information call 885-6000.