BLM announced earlier this week the opening of a 30-day comment period on a draft Environmental Assessment for a ten-year plan to remove wild horses and burros in southern Nevada that feed near highways, creating a public safety hazard, or have strayed from their home range onto to private property.
The six HMAs affected by the proposal are highlighted in the following map.
The roundups will not be used as a means for achieving AMLs, according to the news release. A similar statement appears on page 11 in the EA.
But they could be carried out on an emergency basis. The meaning of the term and the rules that would be altered or skipped in those cases were not explained.
The resource assessment, summarized in Table 3-1 of the EA, says livestock grazing does not occur on [public lands] within or near the affected HMAs but does not indicate if it happens on private lands that may abut or lie in close proximity to the HMAs.
Given that wild horses and burros are not privately owned and are not considered to be livestock, do they lose their protected status when they exit federal lands and become subject to state and local laws for domestic livestock? Probably not.
If Nevada is a fence-out state, should private property impacts be part of the analysis?
In cases where land owners have built fences to keep the horses and burros out, do the requirements of NRS 569.431 apply?
Comments can be submitted at this page. Public input will be reviewed by BLM staff and responses will be included in the final EA.