The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Sierra Front Field Office is soliciting your input on the management of wild horses in the Pine Nut Mountains. The BLM will be developing a 10-year plan to manage wild horses in the Pine Nut Mountains that could include wild horse gathers, implementation of population growth control measures, public education and outreach, habitat improvement/restoration, and monitoring protocols. The goal is to maintain or restore a thriving natural ecological balance of wild horses and their habitat.
The Pine Nut Mountains Herd Management Area (HMA), an area designated for the management of wild horses and their habitat, is located within the Pine Nut Mountains. The Pine Nut Mountains are located in Carson City, Douglas and Lyon counties, Nevada. In April 2016 the BLM conducted an inventory of the Pine Nut Mountains and observed 536 wild horses. The appropriate management level for the HMA is 119 to 179 animals. Thirty-nine percent of the wild horses were observed outside the HMA, including in the urban interface areas such as Deer Run Road, Dayton and Fish Springs. The BLM has published a Final Summary of Current Conditions for the HMA that concludes that vegetative trends and riparian functional assessments for springs demonstrate that wild horses are a causal factor in the deterioration of conditions (see Documents).
The purpose of the proposed plan would be to address the following issues:
• Prevent the degradation of public lands within and outside the herd management area;
• Address nuisance and other wild horses that are residing outside the HMA in areas that are not managed for wild horse habitat or that contribute to public safety concerns such as property damage and vehicle collisions;
• There is a need to address long-term population trends within and outside the herd management area; and
• Manage wild horses in a manner that supports meeting Bi-State sage-grouse habitat objectives.
For this plan, the BLM will be preparing an environmental assessment (EA) to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act. The draft environmental assessment would assess the direct, indirect and cumulative effects from the proposed plan and alternatives. The public would be afforded a 30-day comment period on the proposed plan and alternatives when that draft environmental assessment is made available late summer 2016.