BLM releases 2015 Pryor Mountain Wild Horse gather environmental assessment for public comment | TSLN.com

BLM releases 2015 Pryor Mountain Wild Horse gather environmental assessment for public comment

The Bureau of Land Management Billings Field Office is seeking public comment on a preliminary environmental assessment for a wild horse gather on the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range.

The preliminary environmental assessment analyzes the effects of the gather. The assessment identifies a range of alternatives including a "Proposed Action," "Alternative A" and a "No Action" alternative.

The Proposed Action consists of a bait/water trapping gather that would capture wild horses in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range and remove 25 adoptable excess horses between the ages of 1-3.

Alternative A proposes to conduct a multi-year gather operation beginning this year and lasting until recruitment and death loss balance from fertility control treatments.

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 established appropriate management level of 90-120 horses, excluding the current year foals.

Comments must be sent in a written form and mailed or hand delivered to the Billings Field Office, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, Mont., 59101. The BLM will consider any substantive comments and revise the EA as appropriate. Before including addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, or other personal identifying information in comments, personal identifying information may be publicly available at any time. While it can be requested that comments withhold personal identifying information from public review, the BLM cannot guarantee information will not be released.

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Office business hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. The environmental assessment can be found online at http://on.doi.gov/1aK9loZ.

After the public comment period ends, the preliminary environmental assessment is finalized with any new information the public provides, as well as a response to comments, a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)/Decision Record is issued for a 30-day appeal period.

The Pryor Mountains Wild Horse Range is located in the Pryor Mountains south of Billings, along the Montana-Wyoming border and encompasses approximately 38,000 acres of BLM, U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service managed land.

–BLM