April 4, 2012 – 2012 Gather EA and Decision

Today the Billings Field Office released the following press release:

Release Date: 04/04/12


Kristen Lenhardt 406-896-5228

BLM Releases Environmental Assessment and Decision on Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range Non-Helicopter Gather

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Billings Field Office today released the Environmental Assessment (EA) and Decision Record for a 2012 non-helicopter gather of wild horses within the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range (PMWHR). A 30-day appeal period will begin today and end on May 3, 2012. The EA analyzed the effects of the decision to conduct a non-helicopter gather to remove excess wild horses within the PMWHR. The field office received about 1,000 individual comment letters and 63 unique comments on the preliminary EA, and considered those in making the final decision.

The EA identifies a range of alternatives, including the Proposed Action, Alternative A and a No Action alternative. The final decision after conducting the EA states the BLM will move forward with the Proposed Action that recommends a combination of bait trapping, water trapping, and some herding. The gather will be conducted by BLM personnel and is not associated with recent news regarding a BLM solicitation for bait trapping contracts. Since bait trapping can occur year-round, the gather is anticipated to take place at any point during the 2012 calendar year, after June 4.

The gather is designed to manage for the appropriate number of wild horses so that rangelands and horses can be healthy and productive for years to come. The current population is approximately 170 wild horses, exceeding the established Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 90-120 horses, excluding the current year foals.

The Decision may be appealed to the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA), Office of Hearings and Appeals, U.S. Department of the Interior, 801 North Quincy Street, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia, 22203.  The appeal must also be filed with the Authorized Officer, BLM, Billings Field Office, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, MT 59101. If you wish to file a petition for stay of the EA during the pendency of your appeal before the IBLA, the petition for stay must accompany your notice of appeal. If a petition for stay is submitted with the notice of appeal, a copy of the notice of appeal and petition for stay must be served on the IBLA at the same time it is filed with the State Director.

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.

To view the Decision Record, FONSI and EA, please visit: http://blm.gov/08jd

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, recreational and other activities on BLM-managed land contributed more than $130 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 600,000 American jobs. The Bureau is also one of a handful of agencies that collects more revenue than it spends. In FY 2012, nearly $5.7 billion will be generated on lands managed by the BLM, which operates on a $1.1 billion budget. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.

Billings Field Office   5001 Southgate Drive      Billings, MT 59101

Last updated: 04-04-2012

To read the Environmental Assessment, please click here or on the image below. Note: New or revised information in the EA is highlighted in grey.

To read the Decision Record, please click here or on the image below.

Also, please read the Questions and Answers document that was written for this gather; it can be accessed by clicking here.

Published in: on April 4, 2012 at 9:16 pm  Comments (9)  

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. damn…

  2. Reblogged this on Wild in the Pryors and commented:
    To keep everyone up to date on what is going on. Please read.

  3. sad 😦

  4. Dispicible……..what can we do?

  5. Oh my gosh. That doesn’t seem like a very large population of horses for that many acres of land. How do they decide which horses to take? and Yes what can we do. This is ridiculous.

  6. If you read one of the reports it actually says what ones are likely to be removed. Unfortunately some of my favorites from the “K” year are listed including Kerry, Kayenta (Most favorite/amazing color), Kitalpha (which she survived through so much it is wrong to remove one with such high survival instincts.)

  7. Lander is listed twice; both times comments are incorrect — it is assumed he is Tier 1, with comments meaning “sibling Jasper”, not Joseph. And in Tier 2, the reference to him is probably for Liesl…

    • I totally Agree with many above comments, esp “K-year”: Lander is definitely confused with Liesl, & then his sibling is incorrect. This may SEEM trivial, however I worry, as both are in tiers “conditional” to “certain sibling removal” (& IF error- BLM won’t give a d** let’s face it 😦
      **Kitalpha* & Bristol should, by ALL means be protected; been calling her the “Amazing Hidden Star- Kitalpha, returned from the dead” & “the Incredible Pair of True Love” (as poor Bristol previously ‘saved & cared’ so deeply for young Greta, long ago!) it would be both Unwise & Cruel to remove her, & likely *Bristol will DIE if so! :::: **As both Lukachukai & Kachina are tier 1 & 2–removal will leave poor old **Washakie* with N0 offspring, other than Bacardi; every other has DIED or been Stolen!!
      Also **Kierra /Breeze* lists Tier 1 “for remaining sibling, *Jasmine (but they are NOT siblings! Mom’s are Aztec & Velvet/scarlet, aren’t they??) + nearly Every offspring + Their offspring in Cloud/Raven line were TAKEN in 2009.
      *Most concerning* = the failure of Matt to address these issues?? mentioned 😦 perhaps, he is just real busy, yet I fear the *non-response is DUE to fact that BLM is no longer “listening” to his or Mr Nickel’s ideas (which were rudely blown away by BLM in replies)…
      Have been Posting “the Incredible Story of Survival & Compassion, Kitalpha & Bristol” all over… 😦

      • Thanks for your questions on this. First, I’d recommend taking a look at this table I put together (https://pryorwild.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/cohortdetails.pdf). I put this together to show how I believe the chart in the EA was meant to be written (in regard to tiers), as well as providing summary information that I used in making my recommendations to the BLM.
        If both Lukachukai and Kachina were removed, Washakie would have three offspring on the Range: Bacardi, Sequoyah, and Morning Star. She is doing pretty well with these descendants. Further, she herself is part of a pretty well represented bloodline.
        Kierra and Jasmine are full sisters (or at least full in the sense they were both born in the same harem, both likely to White Cloud.) Their dam is Aztec; they also have an older sister Hailstorm who is with Morning Star. The Cloud/Raven bloodline is very well represented, especially compared to some of the other bloodlines on the mountain (such as that Aztec belongs to).
        Hope this helps! Thanks for your concern on this!

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