BLM announced on Thursday the opening of a 30-day comment period on a preliminary Environmental Assessment for gathering and removing excess horses on the Reveille HMA in central Nevada.
The HMA covers 105,494 acres and has an AML of 138, for an aimed-at population density of 1.3 wild horses per thousand acres. The target density across all HMAs is one animal per thousand acres.
The Reveille HA, marked red in the map above, contains the HMA. Horses were found there in 1971 but the land is no longer managed for them.
The HA and HMA lie within the 650,520 acre Reveille Allotment. See Map 2 in the EA.
One permittee, who grazes the entire allotment, receives 25,730 AUMs per year from the BLM, per Section 3.2.4 in the EA.
The HMA intersects roughly 16% of the allotment (105,494 ÷ 650,520), suggesting that an additional 4,173 AUMs per year are available in that area, but have been assigned to livestock, with a twelve month grazing season. See Table 1 in Appendix F of the EA.
The management plan allocates 1,656 AUMs per year to horses in the HMA, according to Section 1.5 (138 × 12).
The livestock AUMs convert to 348 cow/calf pairs, with a population density of 3.3 cow/calf pairs per thousand acres.
These figures are presented in the following charts.
Appendix F states that 2,210 AUMs were allocated to livestock in the HMA, about half of the amount estimated above.
The BLM has limited flexibility in managing wild horses in the HMA, due to a court order that requires roundups whenever the herd size exceeds AML. Refer to Section 1.3 of the EA and Section 1.4 in the Supplemental Information Report. The case was brought by the PLR mentioned above.
Comments on the gather plan can be submitted at this page.