Sample Comments by Bonnie Kohleriter
SUBJECT: COMMENT ON MASSACRE LAKES WILD HORSE HERD EA (ENVIRONMENTAL
DUE: SEPTEMBER 27, 2013
SEND TO: CASRPUBCOM@BLM.GOV
REFERENCE RESPONSE WITH THE FOLLOWING: EA, DOI-BLM-CAN070-2013-0021 EA
DIRECT LINK: http://tinyurl.com/16ph3fy
This unique herd of 160-180 horses has not been gathered since 1988. Through self-regulation it has maintained its viability living primarily in the northern part of its HMA of 39,888 acres in No. Nevada though managed by California. This herd is invaluable for research purposes having been relatively untouched.
Alternative 1 preferred by the BLM would reduce this herd to an AML of 25-45. This AML number is unacceptable. Dr. Cothran, the retained geneticist for the BLM, has stated again and again a minimum of 100-150 is needed to maintain diversity and viability and to avoid inbreeding and crashing. Alternative 4 suggested by horse advocate, Carla Bower, would provide for an AML of 100-121.
To compensate for the low AML suggested in Alternative 1 the BLM says it will combine the HMAs of Bitner, Nut Mtn., Wall Canyon, and Massacre Lakes in a complex to have an AML of 85-150. However, there is no scientific basis that shows these horses interact with Massacre horses.
The HMA boundaries is the only place where these horses can be unlike cattle. Wild horses can only be within 27 million acres of public land sharing with cattle and wildlife whereas cattle can be on 157 million acres. These horses in healthy numbers need to be within this HMA.
In comparing Alternative 1 to Alternative 4 the impact to cattle grazing appears minimal. Turn-out date for cattle would be the same, and 450 cattle in both alternatives would be permitted. 150 cattle would not be permitted from 5-15 to 5-29, a short period, and the end date for the turn-out of 450 cattle would be shortened by only a month.
Improvements for cattle, wildlife, and the rangelands have been suggested in the EA, but improvements to benefit horses, cattle, wildlife and the rangelands could be done as well.
Alternative 4 would more surely provide for HEALTHY HORSES on healthy rangelands and minimalize the harm to cattle who are on our public land by privilege.
ALERT by Carla Bowers