Alternative 1 in the Final EA for resource enforcement actions in the HMA states that the BLM will gather and remove excess horses within and around the HMA to low AML as expeditiously as feasible through one or more gathers, suppress population growth using PZP-22 and equip the horses with GPS tracking units.
Alternative 2 is the same as Alternative 1 with the exception that the released mares would be treated with GonaCon Equine instead of PZP.
The decision was to implement Alternatives 1 and 2. The goal is to get the herd down to low AML and keep it there with fertility control.
The total authorized forage inside the HMA, neglecting wildlife, is 13,256 AUMs per year, as discussed previously.
At the low end of the AML, the 165 horses allowed by plan will receive 1,980 AUMs per year, about 15% of the forage in the HMA, sometimes referred to as ‘their food.’
If the vaccines are successful, forage assigned to the horses, corresponding to the difference between the low and high end of AML, could be shifted informally to the ranchers by extending the grazing season and/or allowing a higher stocking rate.
Curiously, the HMA has a Herd Management Area Plan (HMAP), which ratifies these lopsided resource allocations.