The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Sierra Front Field Office (SFFO) made available for public review and comment the Flanigan, Dogskin Mountain, and Granite Peak Wild Horse Gather Environmental Assessment (EA) and on October 28, 2011 issued its Decision Record and Final EA.
The Final EA analyzed the potential direct, indirect and cumulative effects to the human environment associated with the gather, treatment, and removal of wild horses within and adjacent to the Flanigan, Dogskin Mountain and Granite Peak Herd Management Areas (HMAs), located west of Pyramid Lake, in Washoe County, Nevada. In addition, the SFFO has determined that the proposal would not have significant effects on the human environment, and has prepared a Finding of No Significant Impact.
Based on population inventories, all HMAs have populations of wild horses in excess of the Appropriate Management Level (AML). The AML is defined as "the number of wild horses that can be sustained within a designated HMA which achieves and maintains a thriving natural ecological balance." Population inventories in 2010 and 2011 estimated the populations to be as follows: Flanigan HMA 324 wild horses (244 animals above low AML); Dogskin Mountain 22 (12 animals above low AML); and Granite Peak 38 (27 animals above low AML). Approximately 283 animals would be permanently removed from the range. As a result of the overpopulation, a thriving natural ecological balance cannot be maintained.
During the gather, treatment and removal of animals, the BLM would remove all animals from outside the HMAs. A certain number of mares may be treated with Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP-22). Use of PZP-22 slows the growth rate of wild horse populations and can reduce the frequency of gathers. In addition the sex ratio of animals returned to the HMAs may be adjusted in favor of males. Excess animals would be moved to short-term holding facilities, then prepared for adoption or placed on long-term pastures in the Midwest.
This wild horse gather concluded on Friday January 27, 2012.