The public has until Jan. 22 to submit comments on a Bureau of Land Management plan to capture and remove all “excess” wild horses from Seaman Range and White River Herd Areas, located southwest of Ely, Nevada, in Lincoln and Nye counties.
The proposal would allow for an initial helicopter roundup with follow-up roundups for up to a decade from the date of the initial gather. The transported wild horses would be put up for adoption under the current proposal, though Congress is still considering whether to allow BLM to euthanize — shoot — healthy, unadopted wild horses and burros.
As of March 2017, BLM estimated the wild horse population on the two Herd Areas at 365 horses on 475,100 acres.
In the 1980s, the “Appropriate Management Level” for Seaman Range and White River were set at 159 and 90 wild horses, respectively. In 2008, however, an updated management plan called for what were then Herd Management Areas to be converted to Herd Areas and the population to be reduced to zero.
Herd Areas are areas where wild horses were found when the Herd Management Areas are areas within Herd Areas that BLM determines have adequate food, water, cover and space to sustain healthy herds The agency says there is inadequate forage, marginal to very little water, inadequate reproductive viability with no summer habitat or adequate cover on the two Herd Areas.
BLM permits 31,379 Animal Unit Months (AUMs) for cattle and sheep on the two Herd Areas. An AUM is the use of public lands by one cow and her calf, one horse, or five sheep or goats for a month. BLM notes that actual livestock use has varied from 11-70% of permitted use over the past 10 years.
Submit a public comment
Questions and written comments should be directed to:
Bureau of Land Management Ely District Office
Attention: Ruth Thompson, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist
702 N. Industrial Way, Ely, NV 89301
Comments can also be submitted electronically at firstname.lastname@example.org. E-mail messages should include “Seaman-White River Herd Areas Wild Horse Gather” in the subject line.