Another 500 horses to be targeted in Nevada

December 31, 2009

Federal authorities have announced plans to remove nearly 500 wild horses from a Nevada herd management area.

The news comes just two days after the Bureau of Land Management began operations in northern Nevada to remove up to 2700 wild horses from five herd management areas known as the Calico complex. The bureau says 74 horses were removed on the first day of the operation, which is expected to last eight weeks.

The bureau's Schell field office has released the preliminary environmental assessment for a muster in the Eagle herd management area, which it wants to begin in February.

There are believed to be 595 horses in the area and the bureau proposes reducing the herd to 100. It said it wants to do so to maintain a thriving natural ecological balance among wild horse populations, wildlife and livestock.

It will accept public comments until January 27.

The appropriate management level for the Eagle herd area is 100 to 210 wild horses.

The bureau says it also plans to gather 50 wild horses that reside outside the official herd area, which is in eastern Lincoln County, about 80kms southeast of Ely.

"The gather is needed to protect the range from further deterioration associated with overpopulation of wild horses," it said in a statement.

"By removing excess animals, the bureau will be able to improve vegetation, habitat, watershed health, and to make significant progress toward achieving Mojave-Southern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council standards for rangeland health."