**Scoping is out**

8 04 2011

Here it is. We need comments about using fertility control – specifically the annual/native/one-year PZP by trained volunteer darters.

Use this FAQ card I created to help with your comments: https://springcreekwild.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/pzp-faqcard-forblog1.pdf

I’ll also write something in the next few days to highlight the components we want to address.

Remember, annual PZP darting on the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Range was instrumental in canceling the scheduled roundup there this fall. Please do not oppose this roundup – rather, ask that PZP be used in conjunction with bait trapping, as an alternative to helicopter-driven roundups. PZP will push roundups back to few and far between (the goal is no more than one per decade), and bait trapping will ensure humane, slow, careful treatment of the horses. But it has to happen. Spring Creek Basin simply cannot support a great number of horses. I was looking at pix from the 2007 roundup (which I hate) for an article, and at ~110 horses in the total population, they were so very lean. We don’t want to put the horses in that kind of situation again.

Please let BLM know we want to sustainably manage these mustangs using fertility control – make sure you specify “one-year PZP.” That’s the tool that will do the most to prevent roundups.


BLM to hold public hearing and scoping meeting on proposed Spring Creek Basin wild horse gather

DOLORES – The public is invited to a Bureau of Land Management public hearing and scoping meeting on Monday, April 25, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Dolores Public Lands Office, 29211 Highway 184, Dolores, on a proposed wild horse gather this fall in the Spring Creek Basin Herd Management Area.  
The public hearing portion of the meeting will take place from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. and will cover only the use of motorized vehicles and helicopters to gather wild horses from the Spring Creek herd.  Helicopters are an effective tool in gathering wild horses and are commonly used in BLM gather operations. Trucks and trailers would be used to transport the gathered wild horses to adoption or a holding facility. The hearing will begin with a brief introduction, and then public comments will be taken on the use of helicopters and motorized vehicles for gather operations. Oral comments will be recorded and should be kept to five minutes in length. Written and oral comments will be submitted into the official public record, and summaries will be available upon request. 

Immediately following the hearing, the public is invited to an open house to learn about issues to be addressed in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment for the proposed wild horse gather.  The open house will include a brief overview of proposed activities and an opportunity for the public to help the BLM identify issues regarding the gather. Public input can be made either verbally to staff or via a comment card at the open house. 

Written comments will also be accepted until close of business Thursday, May 12, 2011. Written input should be mailed or delivered to Tom Rice, Associate Field Manager, Dolores Public Lands Office, 29211 Highway 184, Dolores, CO  81323.  Comments may also be sent via e-mail to: trice@blm.gov.

The wild horse gather is proposed for September 2011, at the Spring Creek Basin Herd Management Area, which encompasses 21,064 acres of BLM lands in Disappointment Valley. The removal of some wild horses is proposed to achieve a population of wild horses consistent with the land’s capacity to support the herd in balance with other public rangeland uses and resources. A local adoption of the gathered wild horses will take place after the gather.

For more information, contact Tom Rice, 970-882-6843.



8 responses

8 04 2011
Linda Horn


8 04 2011

Yep. There it is. We had our Wild Bunch meeting Wednesday, and it went really well. Now we just need the public to TELL BLM we want fertility control – native PZP, not PZP-22.

8 04 2011
Linda Horn

So there is no actual letter to respond to? What will they be sending me? I usually do point-by-point comments to the EAs, but I don’t think I ever commented on scoping. Is that different?

8 04 2011

It seems that, at this stage in the process, BLM wants comments about what will happen in Spring Creek Basin. I think you can comment about anything in that manner. The “public hearing” part of the upcoming meeting (in Dolores) will be specifically about the helicopter part of roundups, and I think that’s a NEPA requirement because the original act was amended (?) to allow them. Please someone correct me if that’s not right or if I’m not saying it right. That’s what I got out of our meeting with a couple of government folks Wednesday. We have been asked to RE-submit the PZP proposal I wrote … so this is a chance to tell BLM what we want for our mustangs in Spring Creek Basin. To go sort of off-script, and I think it’s the reason BLM won’t really respond to our proposal to use PZP is because it has to wait for the public to tell it what to do – again, what I’ve gotten out of other meetings/other gov’t people. A helicopter will be used. We tried to get BLM to go with bait trapping, but that didn’t happen … and it’s too far down the process now. But we can still ask for it – and believe me, we’ll continue to ask for it (strongly – more strongly now with the PZP and massive money savings) for the future. And we can say that what we want is annual PZP darting to reduce the need for roundups. That – as I understand – goes into the EA … and I think that’s what you’re looking for. Now is the time to tell you what WE the public want; the EA is BLM’s interpretation (?) of what we say we want … I’ve seen/heard so many different interpretations of this process, but that’s my understanding!

8 04 2011
Linda Horn

Re: Hearings. This is the 7/7/10 Revison. Requirement for hearings is on Page 6.


Click to access MS-4740.pdf

.1.11.A & B just slay me, especially in light of recent roundups. They put all this stuff out, and then allow contractors to completely ignore it!

I found this NV hearing notice from 2005:

“The use of helicopters in managing wild horses and burros has become routine since the passage of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, and most people agree that careful and proper helicopter use is efficient and humane,” said Bob Abbey, BLM’s Nevada State Director. “However, we are always looking for suggestions from the public on how to improve our management of the animals.”

I don’t remember reading the “However …” part since. I guess they stopped looking!

9 04 2011

“Most [BLM] people …” may “agree” about helicopters being “humane.” Most people agree that chasing horses with helicopters – BECAUSE the horses are frightened of them and thus run away from them – is not humane.

What we want to continue to emphasize here is that, while we tried and failed to get BLM to consider bait trapping for this roundup, for a variety of reasons, I don’t think our future efforts will fail (though, of course, I could be wrong when it comes to gov’t): We’re doing everything possible to make PZP + bait trapping (when needed) stand out as the appropriate and humane management combination for the horses. If you don’t like something, work to change it – and that’s exactly what we’re doing here.

15 04 2011

Hi, got sent here by friend Pat Amthor. Very informative, appreciate the dedication to our wild relations. Got confused about what to do. Am admittedly spoiled by receiving newsletters encouraging me to write an email to congressman or someone that is included in the email with space for me to add specific comments. Are we to just send something to Tom Rice? Suggesting our support for annual native PZP darting by trained volunteers?

Am I right that “round-ups for adoption” puts a pretty face on dog food?


15 04 2011

Gaella – Hello and welcome! Pat is wonderful, and I can’t be enthusiastic enough about the work she spearheads with Four Corners Back Country Horsemen for our herd! The annual count is wonderful!

Yes, that’s the way of it regarding the comments to submit to Tom Rice at the Dolores Public Lands Center. I’m not nearly tech-savvy enough to know how to do the form email thing (I do know what you’re talking about). This is adding your specific comments … as a letter and addressed to Tom Rice. And yes, you hit it right about annual native PZP darting by trained volunteers! I need to add, too, something about bait trapping – we’d like that to replace helicopter roundups, though it won’t this time … But we want BLM to continue to consider it – and it makes a lot of sense given all the money annual PZP darting (no cost) by volunteers (no labor cost) will save BLM in reduced roundups and fewer horses sent to holding (short or long).

The roundups don’t happen FOR adoptions … Roundups happen because of “excess” horses on the particular range … adoption is an alternative to holding facilities. But with the horse market in general in the tank, adoptions have limited success (limited success in general). But talk to most people who have adopted a mustang (4CBCH has at least a couple!), and you’ll hear the best stories! All things considered, more horses to go holding (and?) than to adoption – and some that are adopted are “reassigned.” I met a wonderful woman last summer who works with reassigned mustangs in Florida … the stories she tells. Thank God for her – she is an angel for those horses.

We want our roundups reduced – by any means. We want our adoptions – when they happen – to draw people who will give these horses lifetime homes because they’ve become “limited edition” (because they’re rarely rounded up/offered for adoption).

I hope that helps? Write from the heart – use these facts. Fertility control is a national directive from BLM … but it starts with us!

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