The Bureau of Land Management in Billings is seeking public input on a proposed 2015 Wild Horse Gather in the Pryor Mountains, the first such roundup to be held in three years.
The proposal would capture the majority of the horses in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range using a bait and water gather method, according to agency spokesman Brad Purdy. He said the gather project would likely occur sometime in August.
The agency plans to remove from the herd about 30 horses between the ages of 1-3. The horses would then be placed up for adoption, Purdy said.
The last gathering of Pryor Mountain horses occurred in 2012.
In a press release, the agency said the gather is designed to help manage for the appropriate number of wild horses so that rangelands and horses can be healthy and productive for years to come.
The current wild horse population is approximately 170, which exceeds the target of 90 to 120 horses, excluding the current year foals.
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From the Bureau of Land Managment, Billings Field Office:
Billings, Mont. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Billings Field Office is seeking public input on a proposed 2015 Wild Horse Gather in the Pryor Mountains. The proposed non-helicopter gather would capture the majority of the horses in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range (PMWHR). The BLM plans to remove approximately 30 excess horses between the ages of 1-3.
The gather is designed to help manage for the appropriate number of wild horses so that rangelands and horses can be healthy and productive for years to come. The current wild horse population is approximately 170 exceeding the established Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 90-120 horses, excluding the current year foals.
The public scoping process is the initial stage in developing an Environmental Assessment (EA) that analyzes the effects of the gather. The BLM is seeking input from the public regarding the following topics: the development of a proposed action and alternatives (including type of capture techniques, kinship, wild horse handling, etc.), further identification of issues, potential environmental consequences, mitigation opportunities, monitoring, or provide information, data, or analysis to be used in development of an EA.
The scoping period will be open until April 24, 2015. Written comments may be submitted to: Jim Sparks, Field Manager, BLM Billings Field Office, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings MT 59101, or by fax (406) 896-5281. Office business hours for those submitting hand delivered comments are: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. The scoping notice can be found online at http://on.doi.gov/1aK9loZ.
Source: Q2 News and BLM Billings Field Office
Image courtesy of the Bureau of Land Managment