Well, time has sure gone fast since I last posted. Things have been busy here at the Center and on the horse range as well. Since I last wrote, some of the horses have sadly been lost; but there are also many new foals out there. I will work on getting these updates created; but in the mean time there is something else well worth looking at.
The Bureau of Land Management’s Billings Field Office has released a draft of the proposed Herd Management Area Plan (HMAP).
A full PDF version of this document can be accessed by clicking on the link entitled “Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range Draft Herd Management Area Plan and Preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA)” on this web page or by clicking on the following image:
Note: I have found that it is best to right click the link and do a “Save link as” to download this 6.8 mb document to your own computer.
I will readdress some things from the supplementary documents here:
Herd Management Area Plans are documents that do things like define the wild horse appropriate management level (AML), manage the wild horse herd structure, enhance range habitat, and the like. HMAPs help define things that are done on a more short term basis, and so this type of plan is called an “Activity Plan.”
Herd Management Area Plans do not do much in the way of changing things like wild horse range boundaries, manage travel and recreation, and the like. These are the kinds of things defined in the Land Use Plans and travel management plans. These types of planning processes will be carried out for area in the near future.
Currently, the Herd Management Area Plan used for the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range is this document:
Notice the date – June 1984. There were some revisions in 1992; but, for the most part, a 24 year old document is what governs many actions on the wild horse range. You will see in the draft HMAP that it is proposed to change the new HMAP in 5 to 10 years, which is apparently the typical lifespan for these documents.
This document is in the draft phase. As you can read in the supplementary materials, this is the time to carefully read the document and provide the Billings Field Office with comments and solutions that will make help make the HMAP as great as possible.
Meaningful comments and solutions are encouraged and appreciated. Directions on submitting comments, which can be done in about every possible way, can be found on the Dear Reader Letter. It’s best to get going on this sooner than later. This is because there is a 30 day comment period, which I think started this week.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the Billings Field Office! Public lands aren’t just for the public to visit, we do get chances to give our suggestions on actions applied to them. This is one of those chances right now.