BLM Begins Analyzing Proposed Nevada Wild Horse Ecosanctuary

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has published in the Federal Register a notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze the potential impacts of the proposed northeast Nevada wild horse ecosanctuary.

The proposal is to create a wild horse ecosanctuary of a non-reproductive herd on most of the existing Spruce Grazing Allotment, including about 14,000 acres of private land and 508,000 acres of public land, approximately 25 miles southeast of Wells, Nev. The notice of intent opens a 30-day public scoping period that will end Sept. 15, or 15 days after the last public scoping open house. Representatives will be on hand at each scoping open house to answer questions.

Public scoping open houses are scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. at the following dates and locations:

Aug. 29: Wells City Hall
525 6th Street
Wells, Nev. 89835

Aug. 30: Hyatt Place - Reno
1790 East Plumb Lane
Reno, Nev. 89502

Sept. 4: Elko Convention Center - Cedar Room
700 Moran Way
Elko, Nev. 89801

Authorizing the proposal could:

  • Restructure the three wild horse herd management areas within the project area; and
  • Remove a portion of the Spruce Allotment from the N1 Grazing District.

Both actions would require an amendment to the 1985 Wells Resource Management Plan.

The public is being asked to identify issues relevant to the preparation of an EIS for the proposed ecosanctuary and the possible plan. The wild horse ecosanctuary would be operated by Saving America's Mustangs, a nonprofit group that has purchased the Spruce Ranch and acquired the associated grazing permit in the Spruce Allotment. The proponent also seeks to develop an eco-tourism operation in conjunction with the wild horse ecosanctuary.

The BLM has identified preliminary issues to include

  • Potential effects to archaeological resources;
  • Potential effect to Greater sage-grouse and other sensitive species;
  • Potential effects to important elk, mule deer, and other wildlife habitats;
  • Ability to manage healthy wild horse populations; and
  • Ensure public access for recreational purposes.

The BLM is asking, as part of the scoping effort, for the public to submit any suggestions for consideration, and any and all information that would help provide for a thorough and accurate analysis.

Interested individuals should send written comments to the BLM Elko District Office, Wells Field Office, 3900 E. Idaho Street, Elko, NV 89801, Attn: Wild Horse Eco-Sanctuary, or fax comments to 775/753-0385. Comments can also be submitted to the project email address: EcoSanctuaryComments@blm.gov.

Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying information--can be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

Additional information is available online at www.blm.gov/rv5c. To be included as an interested party, please contact Judy May, resource assistant, at the Wells Field Office at 775/753-0200.

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