On September 15, the BLM begins the 2021 emergency roundup at the Jackson Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA) in Nevada. The HMA consists of 283,775 acres (276,634 acres of BLM land and 7,141 acres of a mix of private and other public lands) and the agency has set the population level of wild horses at 130-217. The BLM estimates there are 1,018 wild horses in the HMA. The emergency operation targets 600 wild horses in the southern part of the HMA.
Livestock use is heavy, particularly in the south of the HMA, in spring and summer. The emergency operation will focus on the southern portion of the HMA; just like every removal operation in the HMA done in “emergency” over the last decade. The north and south of the HMA are very distinct from each other.
In 2012 Wild Horse Education shut down the Jackson Mountain roundup as the agency used “emergency” to run foals with choppers as livestock grazed the range. The court found the agency could not use a small area of drought to assert an emergency in the entire HMA and throw the normal course of policy out the window (foaling season restrictions, NEPA).
The BLM has a Preliminary Environmental Assessment (PEA) open for comment on the Jackson HMA.
This new EA has not been approved yet and is the beginning of the opportunity to push for changes at Jackson. (The old EA is what BLM is running the current emergency operation under)
We ask that you send in your comments. Please add this simple sample request to your comment letter (copy/paste):
As a taxpayer and citizen with a personal interest in wild horse preservation and management I insist the agency craft/amend a Herd Management Area Plan (HMAP) that allows the public to have input on actual management of wild horses at the Jackson Mountain HMA. I want my voice as a stakeholder to be considered in management practices, including addressing long-standing issues of “emergency,” livestock, forage, AML and concerns with mining expansion impacting the rest of the HMA. A “gather plan” is not management and the agency has skirted responsibility to the public and the resource too long. An HMAP must be crafted before proceeding with the outdated framework of another “gather plan.”
Written comments should be mailed to the Black Rock Field Office, Attn: Garrett Swisher, 5100 East Winnemucca Blvd., Winnemucca, Nevada 89445, or by email to: BLM_NV_WDO_WHB@blm.gov with Jackson Mountains Wild Horse Gather PEA in the subject line. To review the PEA and other related documents go to https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2013460/615. Letters must be postmarked by September 26, 2021.
Individual comments have more impact than if we gave you a sign-on letter. The agency will only publish our comment in their response, not yours. Our team is doing extensive comments for Jackson that include addressing specific range issues. Those comments are still being crafted and, if there is time, we will link them. We will be focusing on the lack of actual management planning (HMAP) inhibiting our ability to address any actual management issue, just population growth suppression (or what BLM calls “gather planning”).
Please take the time and craft your own letter. Our wild ones need your voice.
Our wild places and wild horses need your voice. An educated advocacy is needed more than ever.
Categories: Wild Horse Education