Comments Invited on Draft EA for Sand Wash Gather Plan

BLM released a preliminary environmental assessment yesterday for wild horse management actions in the Sand Wash Basin HMA over a ten-year period.

The Proposed Action features gathers to the low end of the AML and fertility control treatments to reduce the herd’s growth rate.  Injections could be administered by the automatic darting machine introduced last year, according to the narrative on page 11 of the EA (page 15 in the pdf).

The project area extends well beyond the HMA, as shown on the map in Appendix A.

HMAs to the north have been targeted by the Rock Springs gather plan.

The HMA covers 157,730 acres in northwestern Colorado, including 154,940 acres managed by the BLM.  The AML is 163-362.  The stocking rate at the high end of the AML is 2.3 wild horses per thousand acres.

Sand Wash Basin HMA Map 04-03-21

The current population is thought to be 828 wild horses, according to the news release.

The HMA is subject to permitted livestock grazing, per Table 2.1 in the EA.

The EA says that the nuisance gather started in January is still in progress.

Comments will be accepted through May 2.

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