Resources in the area can support up to 80 wild horses, according to Section 3.1.2 of the EA. The current AML is 65. The proposed action would increase the AML but limit herd growth rates to no more than ten percent per year.
Other management objectives involve age distribution, body condition, dispersion and genetic diversity, similar to the goals of the Pryor Mountains revamp.
Livestock grazing has been greatly reduced inside the HMA, a factor contributing to the AML increase. Forage utilization outside the HMA was not discussed, probably because it’s outside the scope of the management plan.
The HMA is only slightly larger than the tiny Heber WHT and the new AML is only half the size recommended in Section 188.8.131.52 of the WHB Management Handbook.
The population target could be achieved by doubling the size of the HMA, which means taking back the land now designated as a Herd Area (see map in linked post below).
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