Wild horses graze in the Pine Nut Mountains with the Sierra in the background. Record Courier photo.

As published by The Record Courier

Nearly 600 wild horses are wandering the Pine Nut Mountains, and their numbers are increasing an average of 17 percent a year, documents released by they Bureau of Land Management reported on Thursday.

According to the initial report, the horses are having an adverse effect on several areas in the Pine Nuts, prompting consideration of several means to lower their numbers.

The proposed action is to gather horses and apply fertility control to keep their numbers down. The use of fertility drugs was pioneered in the Fish Springs area of the Pine Nuts.

The BLM, Sierra Front Field Office has prepared a draft Pine Nut Mountains Herd Management Area Plan, for the Pine Nut Mountains Herd Management Area. Public comments on this draft plan will be accepted through Jan. 22, 2017.

The HMAP is a 10-year plan for management of wild horses in the Pine Nut Mountains. It could include wild horse gathers, implementation of population growth control measures, public education and outreach, habitat improvements/restoration, and monitoring protocols. The goal is to maintain or restore a thriving natural ecological balance of wild horses and their habitat.

For this plan, the BLM has prepared a preliminary environmental assessment to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act. The preliminary EA assesses the direct, indirect, and cumulative effects from the draft plan and alternatives.

The HMAP, Pine Nut Mountains Summary, EA, and Scoping Report, can be found online at http://bit.ly/1t1Opmz

Please send comments to: John Axtell, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist, 5665 Morgan Mill Rd, Carson City, Nevada 89701 or email at: PineNutHorses@blm.gov. Comments can also be faxed to: 775-885-6147 Attn: John Axtell.

For more information contact Axtell at Wild Horse Specialist at 775-885-6146.