Reprinted With Permission From Horseback Magazine
Callaghan Wild Horse “Gather” Preliminary Environmental Assessment Available for Public Comment
Photo by Craig Downer – “Freedom”
BATTLE MOUNTAIN, NV (BLM) – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Battle Mountain District, Mount Lewis Field Office is proposing to apply fertility control to wild mares and to remove about 221 excess wild horses from the Callaghan Complex and New Pass/Ravenswood Herd Management Areas (NYSE:HMA). The gather would bring the number of wild horses in these HMAs to 862 wild horses. The proposed gather area is located 55 miles south of Battle Mountain in Lander County.
The proposal and associated impacts are described and analyzed in the Callaghan Complex Wild Horse Gather Plan and Preliminary Environmental Assessment (NASDAQ:EA). The BLM would appreciate receiving substantive comments on the preliminary EA by Saturday, October 2, 2010. The gather is expected to begin on December 1. Comments received during the public review period will be analyzed and considered as part of the decision-making process.
The preliminary EA may be viewed at the BLM Battle The 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, as amended, authorizes the BLM and the Forest Service to use helicopters to gather animals, as well as to use motorized vehicles to transport gathered animals. The BLM has utilized helicopters to capture wild horses and burros since the late 1970’s.
Mountain website at: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/battle_mountain_field_office.html. Questions and written comments should be mailed to Doug Furtado, Mount Lewis Field Manager, 50 Bastian Road, Battle Mountain, NV 89820. Comments may also be provided through e-mail to: Callaghan_gather@blm.gov.
The gather is needed to slow population growth to maintain population size within the appropriate management level (AML), and to remove wild horses from outside the HMA boundaries in order to protect rangeland resources from deterioration associated with an overpopulation of wild horses. The BLM conducts wild horse gathers to maintain a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple use relationship on the public lands consistent with the provisions of Section 3(b) (2) of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.
The proposal is to gather approximately 80 percent of the existing populations and treat all mares to be released back to the HMAs with the fertility control vaccine PZP-22. Approximately 866 of an estimated 1,083 horses would be gathered, but only 221 horses would be removed.
This gather is the start of a new strategy to use fertility control over a period of several years to reduce the number of horses gathered and removed from these HMAs, and ultimately reduce the number of horses in long term holding.
The emphasis is to remove weanlings, some yearlings and wild horses captured from outside HMA boundaries. The post gather goal would be approximately 862 wild horses remaining within these HMAs.
Animals removed would be transported to a temporary BLM holding facility and be prepared for adoption, long term holding pastures or sale. It is estimated that most of the wild horses removed would be young and highly adoptable, with few horses needing to be maintained in long term holding pastures. The BLM will leave 80 percent of the existing population in the HMAs.
When submitting comments, be aware that your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, may be made public.
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