The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is accepting public comments on an Environmental Assessment (EA) of a plan to manage wild horses and livestock during drought. The EA analyzes a range of management alternatives that may be implemented to mitigate the effects of drought and to address emergency situations. Management alternatives under consideration range from temporary hauling of water to removal of horses to reductions in authorized livestock grazing.
The BLM Elko District manages 7.1 million acres of public land that includes 238 livestock grazing allotments and eight wild horse Herd Management Areas. The BLM Elko District authorizes 42 times more forage to privately owned livestock than to federally-protected wild horses in this area. The agency allows a maximum of 1,388 wild horses vs. the annual equivalent of nearly 58,000 cow/calf pairs to live in the district.
Please take this opportunity to remind the BLM that the protection of wild horses is mandated by an act of Congress, whereas livestock grazing is authorized entirely at the discretion of the Secretary of the Interior. Take action below to tell the BLM that it must prioritize removal of livestock over wild horses in drought conditions, and that removals of wild horses must take place only in verifiable emergencies, and only after all measures to keep wild horses on the range have been implemented.
Comments Due March 16, 2013