Returning Wild Horses to "Zeroed-Out" Mustang Habitat Needed to Stop BLM "Business as Usual"
Carson City, NV (June 26, 2013) -- Tonight, the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), a national coalition, is attending a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) "public workshop concerning wild horses in the Fish Springs area" which is located on the outskirts of Gardnerville, Nevada. Joining local community members, AWHPC is calling upon the BLM to abandon its "business as usual" approach of removing wild horses and to instead work with the community on solutions to humanely manage the horses on the range.
Wild horses have lived in the Fish Springs area, a portion of the Pine Nut Mountains Herd Area, for decades without interruption. Yet the BLM arbitrarily decided to eliminate or "zero out" all horses in this Congressionally-designated wild horse habitat, which overlaps the Buckeye grazing allotment. An issue has arisen regarding horses in the area. The problem lies in part due to the recent removal of water sources that were available to horses in the area for decades. AWHPC is calling upon the BLM to conduct public education, range improvements including securing water sources for the horses, a humane fertility control program and other management in order to fulfill its mission to protect and manage wild horses.
"The BLM must stop 'business as usual' which led the agency to the decision to eliminate mustangs in the Fish Springs area of the Pine Nut Mountains Herd Area. The agency must resume managing mustangs in this Congressionally-designated wild horse habitat," said Deniz Bolbol, communications director for AWHPC. "The BLM must work with the community to protect wild horses in this area and to ensure the humane treatment of these federally-protected animals."
The BLM is hosting the Workshop tonight from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Carson City District Office located at 5665 Morgan Mill Road in Carson City.
The BLM Carson City District, in the 1980's and 1990's, “zeroed out” or eliminated the management of wild horses in more than half of the Pine Nut Mountains Herd Area (HA) reducing the area where horses are allowed to live from more than 251,000 acres to under 105,000 acres. In addition, the BLM reduced the numbers of horses allowed to live in the HMA (known as the "Allowable" Management Level or AML) from 387 horses to just 179 animals. The agency permits far more private commercial livestock to use the public lands than wild horses. AWHPC and local community members are calling on the BLM to give wild horses a fair share of the public resources, to redraw the lines of the HMA to include the Fish Springs area, and to increase the AML for the HMA. The BLM Carson City District is currently revising its land use plan known as the Resource Management Plan (RMP). AWHPC urges the BLM to incorporate the changes outlined above in the new RMP.
Earlier this year, the BLM Carson City District came under fire for removing a beloved family of wild horses which had lived outside of Carson City for decades.
The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) is a coalition of more than 50 horse advocacy, public interest, and conservation organizations dedicated to preserving the American wild horse in viable, free-roaming herds for generations to come.