Friends of Animals has submitted comments in response to the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) request for public comments on the June 9, 2016 Scoping Notice for BLM’s 10-year plan to manage wild horses in the Pine Nut Mountains.
The Scoping Notice states that the “Pine Nut Herd Management Area Final Summary of Current Conditions” “concludes that wild horses are a causative factor in the deterioration of conditions” in the Pine Nut area. While even a cursory review of the 2016 Final Summary indicates that BLM attributes a disproportionate share of the deterioration of conditions in the Pine Nut area to wild horses, it is difficult for the public to determine the actual impacts of wild horses as opposed to cattle and sheep because the 2016 Final Summary includes conflicting and misleading information regarding cattle, sheep and wild horse use.
In May, Friends of Animals for the second time stopped the forced drugging of mares in the Pine Nut herd with the fertility pesticide PZP, and we intend to stop the BLM from moving ahead with this misguided 10-year plan that once again caters to the ranching industry. The plan could include wild horse roundups and implementation of population growth control measures including PZP and spaying.
We are asking BLM to consider reasonable alternatives, including: (1) re-evaluating AMLs to meet the needs of the Pine Nut Mountain wild horses; (2) reconsidering existing grazing permits; and (3) consistent with BLM’s responsibilities under the Wild Horse and Burro Act, ensuring that the Pine Nut wild horses are considered as “an integral part of the natural system of public lands” and prioritizing wild horses, not sheep and cattle, on herd management areas.