Comments Invited on Draft EA for Lake Mead Gather Plan

BLM announced yesterday the availability of a preliminary environmental assessment for wild horse and burro management actions in the Lake Mead Complex near Las Vegas, NV.

The Proposed Action, described in Section 2.2.2 of the EA, features roundups over a ten year period and fertility control vaccines.  All wild horses would be removed from the Complex and burros would be removed to the lower end of their AML.

The Complex includes three herd areas near the state line.  The BLM map shows HMAs inside the HAs but the EA says only one of them has an AML.  Refer to Section 4.3.1.5.

Lake Mead Complex Map 04-02-21

Livestock grazing is not allowed inside the Complex, according to Section 3.1, but the grazing status of surrounding lands was not given.  A keyword search of the EA yielded no occurrences of ‘AUM.’

The AML for wild horses is zero in all three areas.  The AML for burros is zero in Muddy Mountains and El Dorado, and 98 in Gold Butte, per Section 1.2.  However, the HMA page for Muddy Mountains shows an AML of 50.

The aimed-at stocking rate at Gold Butte is 98 ÷ 178,000 × 1,000 = 0.6 wild burros per thousand acres, equivalent to 0.3 wild horses per thousand acres.  The target stocking rate across all HMAs is one wild horse per thousand acres.

A draft FONSI has been posted with the project documents.

Comments will be accepted through April 30.

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