December 10, 2011 – 2012 Preliminary Gather EA

Following is a press release from the BLM’s Billings Field Office regarding the proposed 2012 gather here.

BLM Seeks Public Input on Preliminary Environmental Assessment for Proposed Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Gather

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Billings Field Office today released the Preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) for a proposed 2012 wild horse gather within the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range (PMWHR). A 30-day public comment period will begin on Dec. 8 through Jan. 6, 2012. The Preliminary EA analyzes the effects of a proposed non-helicopter gather and removal of excess horses within the PMWHR.

The Preliminary EA identifies a selection of alternatives, including Proposed Action and No Action alternatives. The Proposed Action recommends a combination of bait trapping, water trapping, and some herding. Since bait trapping can occur year-round, the gather would be anticipated to take place at any point during the 2012 calendar year.

The gather is designed to manage the appropriate number of wild horses so that rangelands and horses can be healthy and productive for years to come. The current wild horse population is approximately 150 horses with 17 foals, exceeding the established Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 90-120 horses, excluding the current year foals.

If anyone would like to comment on the Preliminary EA, please do so in writing submitted to: Jim Sparks, Field Manager, BLM Billings Field Office, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, MT 59101. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time.  While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

The PMWHR is located in the Pryor Mountains south of Billings, along the Montana-Wyoming border and encompasses approximately 38,000 acres of BLM, U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service managed land.

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Published in: on December 10, 2011 at 1:07 pm  Comments (6)  

December 4, 2011 – Sykes Ridge

Sorry for my delay writing here. Since I last wrote, the Billings Field Office released their Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range Non-Helicopter Gather Scoping Report November 2011, which can be read by clicking here.  This document summarizes comments received during the scoping period for the proposed gather for the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses along with the BLM’s responses to these comments.

I’ve been able to go onto the wild horse range a number of times since I last posted. In the past month or so, we have had a cycle of relatively warm days followed by colder and snowy weather (it snowed here again last night). Last weekend was pretty nice, and I spent a day on Sykes Ridge. I drove up as far as possible and then started hiking once the road was too snowy to drive any further. On one of the ridges I hiked onto, I found Morning Star’s harem.

Morning Star

Felina

Joviana

(more…)

Published in: on December 4, 2011 at 4:11 pm  Comments (17)