Comments Invited on Moriah Gather EA

BLM announced yesterday the beginning of a 30-day comment period on a draft environmental assessment for the removal of wild horses in and around the Moriah Herd Area in eastern Nevada.

The HA covers 55,300 acres on the Utah border and has no AML.  Horses were found there in 1971 but the land is no longer managed for them.

Moriah HA Map-1

The HA intersects five grazing allotments according to Section 3.2.9.1 of the EA, with cattle and sheep present most of the year.

Note 13 on page seven of the BLM map says “Unsuitable habitat – (unproductive land – inadequate forage),” yet the area can provide an estimated 4,034 AUMs per year to privately owned livestock, based on data in Table 4, enough to support 336 horses.

The current population in and around the HA is thought to be 714, including this year’s foal crop.  The animals routinely move outside the HA in search of food and water.

All of the horses have been designated ‘excess’ and therefore subject to removal.

The Moriah HMA lost its HMA status in the 2008 Ely District Record of Decision and Approved Resource Management Plan.

The roundup, when it occurs, will likely capture only 75% to 85% of the horses and follow-up actions may be necessary over the next ten years to achieve management objectives, according to section 2.2 of the EA.

Comments must be submitted by email or sent by US Mail to the Ely District Office.

An online form was not provided with the project documents.

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