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BLM Issues Decision on Herd Management


The Bureau of Land Management today issued a decision to remove excess wild horses from the High Rock Complex of herd management areas on public lands managed by the BLM Surprise Field Office in Cedarville.

“The current population of wild horses in four of these herd management areas is above what the range can handle,” said Northern California District Manager Nancy Haug. “We have decided to move forward with the gather and other population management actions to keep the wild herds at appropriate management levels to ensure that healthy horses are living on healthy rangelands.”

Through population inventories, the BLM estimates there are about 1,326 wild horses within and adjacent to the High Rock, Bitner, Wall Canyon, Fox Hog and Nut Mountain herd management areas that comprise the High Rock Complex. The appropriate management level established in the Surprise Field Office Resource Management Plan is a range of 258-451 wild horses within the HMAs. The goal of the gather is to return the population to the appropriate management level.

Additionally, nearly 400 wild horses are roaming on public and private land outside of designated herd management areas and will be removed.

The Decision Record, a Finding of No Significant Impact and the Environmental Assessment for the gather are posted on the BLM Surprise Field Office website, www.blm.gov/ca/surprise. Printed or computer diskette copies are available by contacting the Surprise Field Office, 530.279.6101. Appeals of the decision can be filed with the Interior Board of Land Appeals within 30 days. Details on the appeals process can be found in the Decision Record.

The High Rock Complex covers nearly 616,000 acres of northern Washoe and Humboldt counties about 40 miles east of Cedarville. In addition to wild horses, the area supports wildlife including mule deer, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, upland birds and small mammals, as well as permitted livestock.

Animals removed from the management area will be available for adoption. “These horses have desirable traits, and we expect them to be in high demand,” Haug said. Those that are not adopted will be cared for in long term pastures, where they retain their “wild” status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burro Acts.

The BLM does not send any horses to slaughter or allow them to be sent to slaughter. Information on daily opportunities to visit roundup operations will be announced soon.

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