The Bureau of Land Management, Winnemucca District, Humboldt River Field Office has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and Decision Record based on the analysis provided in the Humboldt Herd Area (HA) Gather Final Environmental Assessment (EA). The initial gather will begin as soon as funding and holding space becomes available and take approximately 30 days to complete utilizing the bait/water trapping method.
“The Humboldt HA was not designated for the long-term management of wild horses through the Sonoma-Gerlach Management Framework Plan due to the checkerboard land pattern found within the HA and, therefore, is not currently managed for wild horses or burros,” said Humboldt River Field Manager Vic Lozano. “Since this area is not a Herd Management Area managed for wild horses, these wild horses have been identified as excess.”
The gather will:
- Remove wild horses from private lands;
- Reduce the likelihood of wild horse/vehicle collisions;
- Reduce wild horse pressure on area around the Lovelock-Oreana Well Head Protection Area
- Promote vegetative health by preventing over utilization and/or use by wild horses during critical growth periods for perennial grasses in the upland, wetland and stream bank riparian habitats associated with the Humboldt HA;
- Decrease resource competition for space, forage and water among wildlife and livestock;
- Although impacts would still occur through livestock grazing, removal of excess wild horses will contribute to improved vegetation density, increased plant vigor, seed production, seedling establishment, and forage production over current conditions by reducing grazing pressures caused by excess wild horse numbers;
- Remove excess wild horses from public lands as required under the WFRHBA; and
- Preserve the health and well being of the animals removed from the range that are
- competing for limited forage and water.
The Humboldt HA is located about 30 miles south of Winnemucca and extends along the east side of Interstate 80 to Lovelock, Nev. The proposed gather area is comprised of 431,544 acres of both private and public lands. There are an estimated 185 animals plus the 2014 foal crop on these lands.
Some of the animals may have been missed in the gathers conducted in 1985 and 1993. Other wild horses may have migrated into the Humboldt HA from adjacent herd management areas (HMAs) due to overpopulation in those areas.
The EA, FONSI, Decision Record and other documents can be found at http://on.doi.gov/1sr6Zme. For more information contact Mandy Deforest at 775-623-1579.
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