U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR  BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT  
ePlanning DOI-BLM-ORWA-B050-2018-0016-EA (Spay Feasibility and On-Range Behavioral Outcomes Assessment and Warm Springs HMA Population Management Plan)  
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09/19/2018 12:22:36 MDT
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DECISION RECORD SIGNED, RELEASED

DECISION RECORD SIGNED, RELEASED
The BLM’s decision is to implement the following actions as described in the EA: 
1) The Spay Feasibility and On-Range Behavioral Outcomes Assessment (2018-2022), and,
2) The portions of the Population Management Plan that provides direction on gathering wild horses in 2018. 

The spay study will allow BLM to evaluate the safety, complication rate, and feasibility of ovariectomy via colpotomy on wild horse mares and USGS to evaluate the impacts to mare and band behavior once returned to the range as compared with an untreated herd. 


APPEAL PERIOD
The two activities in this decision, (1) spay feasibility and on-range behavioral outcomes assessment, and (2) 2018 wild horse gather, fall under separate authorities. 
1) Spay feasibility and on-range behavioral outcomes assessment:  The effective date of this decision is 31 days from the date of the authorized officer’s signature on this document (43 CFR Part 4.21).
2) 2018 wild horse gather:  The authority to provide that all or part of a decision be effective upon issuance is found in 43 CFR 4770.3(c),  “Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of 43 CFR 4.21, the authorized officer may provide that decisions to remove wild horses or burros from public or private lands in situations where removal is required by applicable law or is necessary to preserve or maintain a thriving ecological balance and multiple use relationship shall be effective upon issuance or on a date established in the decision.”  Due to escalating conditions related to limited water availability in the HMA and deteriorating conditions of the natural surface roads presently being used for hauling water, this decision becomes effective upon the date of the authorized officer’s signature.


***You have the right to appeal this decision to the Office of Hearings and Appeals, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior, Board of Land Appeals (Board), in accordance with the regulations contained in 43 CFR Part 4 and the enclosed Form 1842-1 (Appendix B).  In taking an appeal, there must be strict compliance with the regulations.  If you choose to appeal, a notice of appeal must be filed with the Burns District BLM Office within thirty (30) days of receipt of this letter for transmittal to the Board. ***

NOTE: On September 12, an outdated and incomplete version of the final FONSI was unintentionally posted to this site. This document was removed and replaced with the correct FONSI on September 19, 2018. 

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COMMENT PERIOD 2: AUGUST 22 - SEPTEMBER 2, 2018 [NOW CLOSED]

A new public comment period on the UPDATED draft Environmental Assessment is open August 22 - September 2, 2018. (EA and appendices are available on this site by clicking the "documents" tab in the menu on the left side of your screen.)

Mail or deliver to:           
Wild Horse Spay Feasibility Research Project Lead   
BLM Burns District Office           
28910 Highway 20 West, Hines, Oregon 97738                      

Fax: (541) 573-4411, Attn: Wild Horse Spay Feasibility Project Lead

Email:  blm_or_spaystudy_warmsprhma@blm.gov

Entire comments – including personal identifying information – may be published as part of the EA and Decision Record process.

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COMMENT PERIOD 1 June 29 - July 30, 2018 [NOW CLOSED]


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PROJECT DESCRIPTION [UPDATED AUGUST 22, 2018]
The Burns District Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has updated an environmental assessment (EA), DOI-BLM-ORWA-B050-2018-0016-EA, and an unsigned finding of no significant impact (FONSI) analyzing the effects the Spay Feasibility and On-Range Behavioral Outcomes Assessment and Population Management Plan for Warm Springs Herd Management Area (HMA).  The research project is proposed by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the Burns District.
 
USGS originally partnered with Colorado State University (CSU) and proposed to evaluate the safety, complication rate, and feasibility of ovariectomy via colpotomy (spay) on wild horse mares and the impacts to mare and band behavior once returned to the range as compared with an untreated herd.  The draft EA released on June 29, 2018, for a 30-day public comment period included their proposal in the original proposed action.  On August 8, 2018, following the public comment period, CSU withdrew from participation in this project.  The BLM respects that decision; however, conditions (population level, water availability, rapid population growth) remain the same on the Warm Springs HMA.  The BLM must continue to pursue management actions to move toward achieving and maintaining the established appropriate management level (AML) on Warm Springs HMA and reduce the wild horse population growth rate in order to restore and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship on public lands.  USGS has updated their proposal to include only the behavioral research portion of the original proposal.  Their study would take place on mares spayed by BLM as a management action.
 
In this updated EA, the Burns District BLM proposes to evaluate the feasibility of ovariectomy via colpotomy on wild horse mares as a population management action and to allow the USGS to evaluate the impacts of spaying on mare and band behavior once returned to the range as compared with an untreated herd.
 
In conjunction with the BLM spay feasibility study and the USGS on-range behavioral outcomes study, Burns District BLM also proposes a 10-year population management plan for Warm Springs HMA. 


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SCOPING PERIOD: MAY 21 - JUNE 4, 2018 [NOW CLOSED]
- Please provide information you have on the status or condition of the resources or resource values of the proposed study and project area or alternatives to consider.
- SCOPING COMMENTS WERE DUE June 4, 2018.
- For responses, comments, and/or any other information please contact the Project Lead (see "Contact Information" button on this page)

 
 
 
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