BLM Launches Scoping on Proposed Wild Horse Research Gather in White Mountain and Little Colorado HMAs

BLM Launches Scoping on Proposed Wild Horse Research Gather in White Mountain and Little Colorado HMAs

 

ROCK SPRINGS – An innovative wild horse study will be launched by the Bureau of Land Management’s Rock Springs Field Office.

In an effort to find new solutions to population control on public lands, BLM has launched a 30-day public scoping period to prepare an environmental assessment on a proposed gather of excess wild horses from White Mountain and Little Colorado (WMLC) Herd Management Areas (HMAs). Researching the behavior of spayed mares will be a key component of the gather.

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The RSFO proposes to conduct the research study in conjunction with the United States Geological Service (USGS) in the two HMAs. The research study would place radio collars on a portion of the mares and place radio tail trackers tags on a portion of the stallions in the HMAs.

Approximately one year after the radio collars and tags are implemented, a portion of the White Mountain mares would be selected to be gathered, spayed and studied further to examine their behavior and band fidelity, demography (birth and survival rates), and spatial ecology both pre- and post-treatment. The Little Colorado HMA would be gathered to the high Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 100 wild horses and would be studied as a control group.

According to recent population surveys, there are approximately 268 adult wild horses in the White Mountain HMA and approximately 330 adult wild horses in the Little Colorado HMA. Besides being over the appropriate management level, the White Mountain HMA is part of the Consent Decree, requiring BLM to gather horses to low AML.

Public input is valuable early in the process and will enable the BLM to develop a well-informed environmental assessment.  Written comments should be received by January 14, 2016, and may be emailed only to blm_wy_whitemtn_littleco_hma@blm.gov (please list “WMLC Scoping Comment” in the subject line), mailed or hand-delivered during regular business hours (7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) to:   BLM Rock Springs Field Office, WMLC Scoping Comment, 280 Highway 191 North, Rock Springs, WY 82901.

Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time.  While you may 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.

For more information, please contact the BLM wild horse specialist at 307-352-0256.

A copy of the project map and additional details can be found at.