Colorado Grazing Project Offers Hope for Wild Horses

The Proposed Action, Alternative B, would reissue 24 grazing permits on 36 allotments with updated terms and conditions to protect the Colorado hookless cactus and DeBeque phacelia, according to the scoping document.

The allotments and the affected species are shown in Figure 2.

Not shown in the map is the Little Book Cliffs WHR, which is west of and adjacent to Red Rock.  Click on image to open in new tab.

Figure 2 Colorado Scoping Document 12-31-22

Although comments will be accepted through January 10, Western Horse Watchers was unable to find the “Participate Now” button mentioned in the “How to Get Involved” section of the project.

Of interest to the wild horse world is Alternative C, the No Grazing option.

Under this alternative, public lands within the allotments would be devoted to a public purpose that precludes livestock grazing.  The grazing permits would be canceled on the 36 allotments, and use of the allotments by livestock would be discontinued.

The permittees would be given two years’ prior notification before their grazing permit and grazing preference were canceled as specified in 43 CFR 4110.4-2.

Further, no livestock grazing would be authorized after the termination date unless a new environmental analysis is completed which determines that livestock grazing could be authorized on all or some portion of the area.

Any private acreage within the allotments or private lands in close proximity to the allotments could continue to be grazed at landowners’ discretion.  However, landowners would be required to keep their livestock off BLM-administered public lands and additional fencing may be needed to prevent livestock from trespassing on said lands.

Livestock-related range improvements would be abandoned and/or removed and reclaimed where there is no clear benefit to other programs.

In short, confine the ranchers to their base properties in a year-round off season and let them pay market rates to feed their animals.

This is a much better option for our wild horses than the Wild Horse Fire Brigade.

RELATED: Wild Horse Fire Brigade Serves Ranchers, Not Wild Horses.

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