Yesterday marked the beginning of a 30-day comment period on a new environmental assessment for wild horse and burro management in the Spring Mountains Complex, west of Las Vegas, NV.
The Proposed Action would implement a Herd Management Area Plan that affirms the AMLs for the Red Rock and Spring Mountains / Wheeler Pass JMAs and increases the AML for the Johnnie JMA. The current AMLs are shown in Table 1 of the EA, with the proposed AMLs in Table 3.
The Proposed Action features removal of excess animals, fertility control vaccines, surgical sterilization and sex ratio skewing.
The Complex consists of 784,326 acres of public lands, with 164,856 acres (21%) managed by the Forest Service and 619,470 acres (79%) controlled by the BLM.
The three JMAs, Red Rock, Johnnie and Spring Mountains / Wheeler Pass, cover 187,639 acres, 216,874 acres and 379,813 acres, respectively.
The combined AMLs under the Proposed Action are 127 horses and 192 burros, with a total forage demand of 2,676 AUMs per year. Table 3 yields 2,670 AUMs per year.
The proposed AMLs are equivalent to 223 wild horses, for an aimed-at stocking rate of 0.3 wild horses per thousand acres. The average rate across all HMAs is one wild horse per thousand acres.
The Complex includes one grazing allotment, Wheeler Wash, according to the Western Watersheds map, with no active AUMs.
Comments will be accepted until October 29.
The EA was posted with other project documents at the Forest Service NEPA site.