Hearing on Motorized Vehicle Use for Wild Horse Management

The Idaho Bureau of Land Management (BLM) invites the public to participate in an annual statewide hearing to discuss motor vehicle use in wild horse management operations on Aug. 21, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the BLM Boise District Office, 3948 Development Ave., in Boise.

This hearing is being held to obtain information, comments, and suggestions from citizens about the BLM's use of motorized vehicles in managing wild horses within the Idaho during the summer and fall of 2013. Management of wild horses includes wild horse removals and the use of motorized vehicles in the form of semi-trucks and trailers and pickup trucks to transport the horses during management actions.

Additionally, this September, the BLM Boise District Office is proposing to conduct an emergency gather to remove some of the herd in the Sands Basin Herd Management Area (HMA) to prevent mortality of wild horses due to lack of water in the HMA. The gather will involve trapping and removing approximately 25 horses on the north end of the HMA using water and hay to attract the animals. The HMA encompasses 11,715 total acres and is about 13 miles southwest of Homedale, Idaho, within the BLM Owyhee Field Office.

The Boise District BLM has been hauling supplemental water to the Sands Basin HMA since Aug. 1. With the shortage of precipitation this past fall and winter, the BLM expects there will be a lack of water available for the Sands Basin wild horses in the months ahead. The gather is based on limited water and/or forage to adequately support the current population of wild horses, and on the subsequent adverse impacts to range resources caused by wild horses concentrating near the HMA’s natural springs.

This gather operation was analyzed as part of the Sands Basin HMA Environmental Assessment (EA) to be released by Sept. 1 and will be posted on the National Environmental Policy Act register. 

For further information concerning wild horse management or to make oral or written statements to present at the hearing, contact BLM Boise District Wild Horse and Burro Specialist Steve Leonard at 208/384-3300.

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