BLM issues decision for Augusta Mountains wild horse gather plan

BLM NEWS RELEASE

WINNEMUCCA — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Winnemucca District, Humboldt River Field Office has issued the Decision Record for the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Augusta Mountains Herd Management Area Wild Horse Gather Plan.  The BLM will gather approximately 275 wild horses from in and around the Augusta Mountains Herd Management Area (HMA).  There are approximately 294 horses that reside within the Augusta HMA.  All horses gathered within the HMA will be returned back to the HMA after the mares are vaccinated with the PZP-22 (Porcine Zona Pellucida) fertility control drug.  Additionally, the BLM plans to gather and remove approximately 40 excess wild horses that have established home ranges well outside the HMA in the adjoining Fish Creek Mountains.

Appropriate Management Level (AML) for the Augusta Mountains HMA is 185 to 308 wild horses.  The goal by vaccinating the mares with PZP-22 before releasing them back is to slow population growth and maintain population size within the AML, and extend the time before a gather to remove excess wild horses would be needed.

Removing the excess wild horses outside the HMA will help to prevent degradation of the range, and achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship as required under the 1971 Wild Fee-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, and Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976.  The removal of excess wild horse will help to achieve and maintain healthy, viable wild horse populations.

The Augusta Mountains HMA is located in Churchill, Lander and Pershing counties, about 75 miles southeast of Winnemucca, Nevada.  The proposed gather is tentatively scheduled to begin in January 2011.

The Augusta HMA Wild Horse gather and impacts are described and analyzed in the EA, which is available online athttp://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/wfo/blm_information/nepa0.html.  The BLM will also provide updates and information on the Web on a regular basis throughout the course of the gather.  Printed copies of the EA are available upon request from the BLM Winnemucca District Office, 5100 E. Winnemucca Blvd., Winnemucca, NV 89445-2921 during regular business hours 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.

For more information, contact Mike Truden, Humboldt River Field Manager, at 775-623-1500.

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