Barren Valley Gather EA Comes and Goes, No News Release

The Decision Record, dated June 9, says this about public notification:

The EA was posted to BLM’s ePlanning website and a notice of availability of the EA was mailed to 70 interested individuals, groups, and agencies on April 17, 2020, for a 30-day public comment period.  In addition, a notice was posted in the Malheur Enterprise and Argus Observer newspapers.

However, the project was not announced on the BLM news site, unlike this recent EA for management actions on the Confusion HMA.

Looks like Western Horse Watchers isn’t in the club.

The Barren Valley Complex represents three HMAs in southeast Oregon, according to the final EA, which are managed together because wild horses routinely move between them: Coyote Lake-Alvord-Tule Springs, Sheepshead-Heath Creek and Sand Springs.

Barren Valley Map-1

On Coyote Lake, 390 wild horses are allowed by plan, with a forage demand of 4,680 AUMs per year.  Privately owned livestock receive an estimated 13,421 AUMs per year.

The management plan for Sheepshead allows 302 wild horses, with a forage allocation of 3,624 AUMs per year.  Livestock receive an estimated 7,276 AUMs per year.

At Sand Springs, the 200 wild horses allowed by plan require 2,400 AUMs per year, while livestock receive an estimated 6,314 AUMs per year.

The wild horse population in June 2019 was thought to be 1,590 adults and 325 foals.

The forage diverted to livestock could support an additional 2,250 horses across the three HMAs.  The combined AML could increase from 892 to 3,142.  The problem is public-lands ranching, not overpopulation.

Although the project is complete, gather dates have not been announced.

Then again, maybe they have.

Thriving Ecological Balance-3

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