BLM Seeks Public Input on Proposed Horse Gather
Published on Feb 5, 2010 - 7:16:48 AM
Feb. 5, 2010 - The Bureau of Land Management's Eagle Lake Field Office is seeking public input on a proposed gather and removal of an overpopulation of wild horses and burros from the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area (HMA), northeast of Susanville, Calif. The gather, involving an estimated 1,800 wild horses and 180 burros, is tentatively planned for August and September 2010.
A 30-day public scoping period begins February 5 and ends March 5, 2010. The public is asked to identify issues to be addressed in an environmental assessment (EA) to be prepared as required by the National Environmental Policy Act. The EA and proposed decision will be released about May 1 for public review and comment.
The purpose of the gather is to return the population of horses and burros to its appropriate management level (AML), or population range, established through the Eagle Lake Resource Management Plan, developed with full public involvement in 2008. The AML, which determines the number of animals the range can sustain, is set at between 448-758 horses and 72-116 burros. The current population is estimated at about 2,300 horses and 250 burros, resulting in ongoing resource damage that will be analyzed in the environmental assessment.
The proposed gather would remove sufficient horses and burros to bring the population within the AML. Under the proposal, most mares left on the range would be treated with a birth control drug effective for one to two years. The wild herd would be structured with more males than females. Both actions are intended to slow the growth rate of the herds.
The proposed action would restore a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple use relationship in the area consistent with the provisions of Section 3(b) (2) of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.
Comments can be sent to Eagle Lake Field Office, Attn: Twin Peaks Wild Horse Gather, 2950 Riverside Dr., Susanville, CA 96130. Comments may also be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.