BLM Proposes Removal of 630 Wild Horses from Jackson Mountains HMA
The Interior Department Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking public comments on a Preliminary Environmental Assessment (PEA) for the roundup and removal of 630 wild horses from the Jackson Mountains Herd Management Area (HMA) in northwestern Nevada. The PEA outlines a plan to subject wild horses to a helicopter stampede in July, a time when desert temperatures are high, horses are operating on low water reserves, foals are newly-born and mares are lactating. The ten-year plan covered in the PEA envisions multiple roundups, as well as sex ratio skewing and replacing a portion of the wild free-roaming stallion population with geldings on the range.
Although the PEA states that the Jackson Mountains situation is not an emergency, the BLM issued an April 18 press release citing an "escalating" drought situation to justify a shortened public comment period of less than two weeks (as opposed to the normal 30 day public comment period).
UPDATE: AFTER RECEIVING OVER 4,000 LETTERS OF PROTEST, INCLUDING A LETTER FROM AWHPC'S ATTORNEYS AT MEYER, GLITZENSTEIN AND CRYSTAL,THE SHORTENED BLM HAS EXTENDED THE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD UNTIL MAY 18.
Further, the BLM has notified AWHPC that, due to "an emerging situation that has the potential to rapidly deteriorate," the agency will likely begin to roundup horses -- by water trapping or helicopter -- in late May or June. This is the heart of foaling season, yet the impacts of capture on newborn foals and heavily pregnant or lactating mares has not been analyzed, nor has any data describing or analyzing the "emerging situation" been released to the public.
Despite the BLM's concerns about forage and water shortages in the HMA, on April 18, 2012, the BLM informed AWHPC that cows remained grazing in the affected area.
Time is of the essence, so please take a moment today to submit your comments by personalizing and sending the sample letter below. Thank you!