BLM Issues Draft EA on Wyoming Wild Horse Gather

BLM Issues Draft EA on Wyoming Wild Horse Gather

Photo: SteppinStars/Wikimedia Commons

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released its draft environmental assessment (EA) for a proposed wild horse gather in southwest Wyoming and is seeking public input.

The BLM said the proposed gather will reduce wild horse populations in the Salt Wells Creek, Adobe Town, and Great Divide Basin herd management areas (HMAs) to their appropriate management levels (AML) in order to maintain healthy wild horses on healthy, productive rangelands.

Currently, the BLM estimates that Western public rangelands are home to 73,000 wild horses and burros; this amounts to nearly triple the 26,715-animal population target that was established by the Wild-Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, as amended. The agency said this overpopulation can result in wild horses’ and burros’ starvation, dehydration from lack of water, and death.

In the three HMAs affected by the proposed gather, the current, overall population of 2,836 wild horses exceeds the cumulative AML of 1,560 animals by about 80%. The proposed gather would remove 513 of the 1,123 wild horses present in the Adobe Town HMA, 725 of the 976 in the Salt Wells Creek HMA, and 322 of the 737 in the Great Divide Basin HMA. The proposed gather would also allow the BLM to comply with the 2013 Consent Decree of Rock Springs Grazing Association v. Salazar.

The release of the draft environmental assessment launches a 30-day public review of the proposed action. Public input is valuable early in the process and will help the BLM to develop a well-informed analysis.

A copy of the project map and additional details are available at bit.ly/2sL83rI

Written comments should be received by Aug. 10. All comments submitted via email should be sent to blm_wy_adobetown_saltwells_hma@blm.gov with “2017 AML Gather EA” included in the subject line. Alternatively, comments can be hand-delivered or mailed to:

BLM Rock Springs Field Office
2017 AML Gather
280 Highway 191
North Rock Springs, WY 82901

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other identifying information in your comment, be aware that your entire comment—including your identifying information—could be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask the BLM in your comment to withhold identifying information from public review, the agency said it cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so.

For more information, please contact the BLM at 307/352-0256.

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