A project has been created in ePlanning and a Draft EA has been posted.
The scoping period, if it occurred, was not announced at the BLM news site nor was the comment period for the EA.
The Proposed Action (Alternative A) features removals to the low end of the AML and population suppression over a ten-year project life.
Alternative B would add sex ratio skewing. Refer to page three in the EA (page five in the pdf).
The HMA covers 19,606 total acres east of Socorro, NM, including 16,493 public acres.
The 60 horses allowed by plan require 720 AUMs per year.
The stocking rate allowed by plan is 3.6 wild horses per thousand public acres, compared to a target rate of one wild horse per thousand acres acres across all HMAs.
The HMA lies within the Bordo Atravesado Allotment. The Allotment Master Report puts it in the Improve category with 2,714 active AUMs on 20,857 public acres.
Forage availability equates to 130.1 AUMs per year per thousand public acres, enough to support 10.8 wild horses per thousand acres, on top of the horses allowed by plan.
The number of horses displaced from the HMA by permitted grazing would be 10.8 × 16,493 ÷ 1,000 = 178.
The True AML would be 60 + 178 = 238, four times higher than the current AML.
The current population is thought to be around 230.
The forage assigned to livestock inside the HMA would be 130.1 × 16,493 ÷ 1,000 = 2,146 AUMs per year, assuming the resource is evenly distributed across the parcel, three times more than the forage assigned to horses.
The bureaucrats, like the advocates, think the horses are the problem.
The BLM will collect 2,146 × 1.35 = $2,897 per year in grazing fees from ranching operations inside the HMA while it spends 178 × 5 × 365 = $324,850 per year to care for the horses displaced thereby.
Would you say that’s a wise use of the public lands?
Confining the permittee to his base property was not considered in the analysis.
The HMA has no HMAP, presumably, given that the term was not found in the EA.
If the document existed, it would ratify and reinforce the lopsided resource allocations and mismanagement of the HMA you see here.
The Authorization Use Report indicates that cattle are on the land twelve months per year, which includes a wilderness study area.
Comments will be accepted through August 27.