ELY — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Battle Mountain District, Tonopah Field Office and the BLM Ely District, Egan Field Office have issued the Decision Record for the Final Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Pancake Complex Wild Horse Gather. The BLM will implement a pilot project involving a phased-in management approach to reach the appropriate management level (AML).
This new way of managing large herd management area (HMA) complexes involves conducting three to four gathers over a six to 10 year period instead of one very large removal in order to reach AML. The project also involves smaller removals, increased use of fertility control and adjusting sex ratios as well as managing a non-breeding herd of geldings, which has never been implemented in Nevada. The initial operation will remove approximately 800-1,000 excess wild horses out of an estimated 2,200 horses currently residing in the Complex.
The gather area is located in south-central Nevada approximately 30 miles west of Ely and 80 miles northeast of Tonopah, Nev. The gather is tentatively scheduled to begin in January 2012.
At the time of the gather, it is estimated that the population will be more than 1,653 wild horses in the Pancake HMA where the AML is 240-493 wild horses; 153 wild horses in the Sand Springs West HMA where the AML is 49 wild horses; 132 wild horses in the Jakes Wash Herd Area (HA) where the BLM manages for 0 wild horses; and 270 wild horses in the Monte Cristo Wild Horse Territory (WHT) where the AML is 72-96 wild horses. The estimate includes the 2011 foal crop. Wild horse numbers fluctuate between the HMAs, HA and WHT, based on seasonal movement.
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 wild horse populations.
The gathered animals will be transported to the Palomino Valley Center near Reno, Nev., and the Gunnison Prison Wild Horse Facility in Gunnison, Utah, where they will be offered for adoption to qualified individuals. Un-adopted 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 Pancake Complex 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 the EA listed “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].
The BLM manages more land – over 245 million acres – than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.