Public Affairs Officer
BLM Northern California District
The U. S. Bureau of Land Management is accepting public comments on issues that should be addressed in an environmental assessment for a proposed roundup of excess wild horses in northeast California and northwest Nevada.
The BLM Surprise Field Office in Cedarville, Calif. is considering roundups for the Buckhorn and Coppersmith herd management areas in November 2012 and for the Carter Reservoir HMA in July 2013. The Buckhorn and Coppersmith HMAs are in Lassen County, Calif., and Washoe County, Nev. The Carter Reservoir HMA is in Modoc County, Calif. and Washoe County.
Comments should be sent to Bureau of Land Management, PO Box 460, Cedarville, CA, 96104, or sent by email to CBCwildhorses@blm.gov. Comments will be most helpful if received by May 9th, 2012.
The environmental assessment will analyze the environmental effects of gathering excess wild horses and consider the effects of several management alternatives, including not gathering the animals. The EA will not establish population levels, called appropriate management levels, for these HMAs. These were established in the Surprise Field Office Resource Management Plan completed in 2008. The plan is available at http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/surprise/propRMP-FEIS.html.
The roundups are being considered to bring the wild herd populations to levels that the rangelands can sustain in balance with other authorized users including wildlife and permitted livestock.
The appropriate management level for the Buckhorn HMA is 59-85 wild horses; the BLM estimates the current population at 172. The AML for the Coopersmith HMA is 50 to 75 wild horses, with the current population estimated at 75. At Carter Reservoir, the AML is 25-35 wild horses, with the current population estimated at 55. Additionally, there are an estimated 123 wild horses roaming outside of the HMA near the Carter HMA.
The BLM will consider public comments in development of the EA which will be released for public comments this summer.