BLM NEWS RELEASE
ELY – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ely District, Caliente and Schell Field Offices have issued the Decision Record for the Final Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Silver King Herd Management Area Wild Horse Gather. The BLM will gather and remove approximately 546 excess wild horses from in and around the Silver King Herd Management Area (HMA), located about 70 miles south of Ely, beginning in September.
Appropriate Management Level (AML) for the Silver King HMA is 60-128 wild horses. There are currently more than 600 wild horses within the Silver King HMA. Monitoring data indicates that over-utilization of key grazing areas by wild horses in the Silver King HMA is preventing recovery of the vegetation on those sites. Over utilization is also causing horses to move outside the Silver King HMA in search of forage.
If more than 546 wild horses are gathered, selective removal criteria would be used to return horses to the range. Of the horses remaining on the range, BLM would conduct fertility control measures on mares and/or adjust the sex ratios of the gathered animals to be returned to the HMA to 60 percent male/40 percent female ratios.
Removing the excess wild horses will help to prevent further deterioration of the range, and achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship as required under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, and Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as well as help to achieve and maintain healthy, viable wild horse populations. Removing the excess wild horses will also make “significant progress towards achievement” of Mojave-Southern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council (RAC) Standards for Rangeland Health, in addition to conforming to the 2008 Ely Resource Management Plan that was signed in August 2008.
The gathered animals will be transported to the National Wild Horse and Burro Center at Palomino Valley (PVC), near Reno, Nev., and Delta Wild Horse and Burro Facility, in Delta, Utah, where they will be prepared for the BLM adoption program. Unadopted horses will be placed in long-term pastures where they will be humanely cared for and retain their “wild” status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The BLM does not sell or send any horses to slaughter.
The Silver King HMA gather and impacts are described and analyzed in the EA, which is available online at http://www.blm.gov/nv/. Click on the Ely District map and then click on Silver King HMA gather under “In the Spotlight.” The BLM will also provide updates and information at the same Web address on a regular basis throughout the course of the gather.
For more information, contact Chris Hanefeld, BLM Ely District public affairs specialist, at (775) 289-1842 or [email protected].