A group of Pryor Mountain wild horses gallop over a hill on their way to the watering hole.

BLM seeks public input

A group of Pryor Mountain wild horses gallop over a hill on their way to the watering hole.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Billings Field Office has released the Preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) for a proposed 2012 wild horse gather within the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range. A 30-day public comment period will begin on Dec. 8 and run through Jan. 6, 2012. The Preliminary EA analyzes the effects of a proposed non-helicopter gather and removal of excess horses within the PMWHR.

The Preliminary EA identifies a selection of alternatives, including Proposed Action and No Action alternatives. The Proposed Action recommends a combination of bait trapping, water trapping, and some herding. Since bait trapping can occur year-round, the gather would be anticipated to take place at any point during the 2012 calendar year.

The gather is designed to manage the appropriate number of wild horses so that rangelands and horses can be healthy and productive for years to come. The current wild horse population is approximately 150 horses with 17 foals, exceeding the established Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 90-120 horses, excluding the current year foals.

Anyone who would like to comment on the Preliminary EA, may do so in writing submitted to: Jim Sparks, Field Manager, BLM Billings Field Office, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, MT 59101.  Before including their address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in the comment, people should be aware that their entire comment – including their personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While a person can ask us in the comment to withhold their personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

The PMWHR is located in the Pryor Mountains north of Lovell along the Montana-Wyoming border and encompasses approximately 38,000 acres of BLM, U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service managed land.

To view the Preliminary EA, visit: http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/fo/billings_field_office/wildhorses/pryorherd.html.