Wild Horse Education

Pancake Comments Open (a ten year plan to destroy one of our last large herds)

ELY, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Ely District has just published the preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Pancake Complex of herd management areas located in Nye and White Pine counties.

The preliminary 10-year Wild Horse Gather EA will be available for public review and comment for a period of 30 days.  Once approved, this “10 year plan” will stay set in stone without any further analysis.

“This area has been extremely hard hit by industry and BLM is rapidly approving more. These areas have repetitive trespass livestock that BLM does not adequately address. There has been absolutely no effort to protect the habitat, wild horses and even the sage grouse, from massive encroachment destroying water and landscape. This is not a plan to create a ‘thriving natural ecological balance.’ Nothing out there is thriving in this industrial push. This is ‘blame the horse’ business as usual.” ~ Laura Leigh, Wild Horse Education founder.

BLM claims that the EA is needed “to reduce impacts to rangeland health and wildlife habitat within complex boundaries. The EA will be used to facilitate gathers, removals and fertility control of excess wild horses in accordance with 43 CFR 4700 regulation and the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, as amended (Public Law 92-195). The Appropriate Management Level for the Pancake Complex is 361 to 638 horses. “

It is not unusual to see wild horses having to tangle with the miles and miles of barbed wire in the complex as gates keeping them from moving to get forage and water are repeatedly closed.

The Pancake Complex includes over 1.1 million acres and consists of the Sand Springs West and Pancake Herd Management Areas (HMAs), Jakes Wash Herd Area (HA) and Monte Cristo Wild Horse Territory (WHT).  BLM has set the population level for the complex at 361-638.

“If BLM had taken the mandate to heart in 1971 this complex would be a haven for protection of one of Americas last large herds. Instead for 50 years BLM has failed to protect the horse and habitat, failed to equitably address management. Instead of preserving an absolute jewell of the West, Pancake is set to be driven into a token representation with constant harassment. The population will be pushed down to 360 on 1.1 million acres, over and over again, over the next ten years. The horses will be harassed as the area is turned into an industrial complex for mining, livestock and oil and gas.”

BLM estimates the population at somewhere between 2,262 and 3,864 in the “scientific method” that will operate to run a massive removal, again and again, to maintain a low AML of 361. The plan also includes non-reproducing animals, IUDs, and more.

“The wild horses in Pancake already live in an area where they face massive challenges from man, admittedly there are days they already live in a manmade hell. But the constant harassment represented in this EA, with no room to actually protect them,  is one more obscenity.”

“We are going over the EA with a fine tooth comb and have already noted multiple, simple, errors. We will have sample comments for you soon.”

The number of exploration rigs, mining claims, EISs in process for mines, mines approved, in the complex is off the charts. Valley after valley we documented the impacts over time. The area, that could now support a very large herd, will be a wasteland in ten years. The damage is not done by wild horses.

If you want to scan the EA, and write your own comments, info below from BLM:

A 30-day public comment period on the preliminary environmental assessment is set for Nov. 12, 2020 through Dec. 12, 2020. The public is encouraged to review the EA, located at: https://go.usa.gov/x7RUa and provide substantive comments or concerns, prior to 4:30 p.m. (PST) on Dec. 12, 2020. All comments received will be fully considered and evaluated for preparation of the final EA.

Comments and concerns may be emailed to: blm_nv_ely_pancakecomplex_wildhorsegatherea@blm.gov or sent in writing to the Bureau of Land Management Ely District Office, 702 N. Industrial Way, Ely, NV 89301 Attn: Ben Noyes, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist. Hardcopies of the EA can be made available, upon request, by calling the BLM Ely District Office at (775) 289-1800.


What you can do, now, to help our wild ones

Please take action to demand Congress defund any roundups where the BLM has failed to create open and transparent management planning.  Click HERE.

Call the Senate switchboard and ask for your rep. Demand that all actions against wild horses and burros halt until William Perry Pendley leaves the BLM. His tenure was ruled illegal and BLM is still moving an agenda forward for Pendley’s former law clients.  Switchboard (202) 224-3121


Help us stay in the fight. Our teams must be able to travel safe, stay safe and have the resources needed to take that info into a courtroom. We have legal actions against abuse, the ripping out of the ovaries of wild mares, habitat loss and more. With your help we can continue to speak for our wild ones that can not speak for themselves. 


Categories: Wild Horse Education