The ~Texas~ Mustang Project's Blog

Working for better management options and cohabitation through compromise and communication for the American Wild Mustang

Montezuma Peak and Paymaster HMA Wild Horse & Burro Gather PEA Available for Public Comment

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 11, 2010

The BLM Battle Mountain District, Tonopah Field Office is seeking public comments on the Montezuma and Paymaster Herd Management Areas (HMAs) Wild Horse and Burro Gather Preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA), which addresses the need to remove approximately 184 excess wild horses and burros from in and around the Montezuma and Paymaster HMAs beginning around September 2010.  The BLM will accept written comments on this EA until July 15, 2010.

Interested individuals should mail written comments to the BLM Tonopah Field Office, P.O. Box 911(1553 5. Main St.), Tonopah, NV 89049, attention Thomas J. Seley, Tonopah Field Manager. Comments may also be provided through e-mail to this address: Be advised that only the comments received by postal mail or to this specific e-mail address will be considered in the completion of the final EA, FONSI and Decision. 

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time.  While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

For more information, contact Dustin Hollowell, BLM Tonopah Field Office, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist at (775) 482-7847.


The Paymaster HMA lies 7 miles west of Tonopah in Esmeralda County, Nevada, and comprises approximately 100,500 acres. Few fences exist across much of the area, which allow the wild horses unrestricted movement areas outside the HMA boundary as well as the Montezuma Peak HMA. Because of steep terrain, limited forage, and few accessible perennial waters, the Paymaster HMA itself receives little actual use by wild horses, which reside in the Montezuma Allotment outside the boundaries of the HMA.

The gather area encompasses the Montezuma Peak and Paymaster HMAs and the portions of the Montezuma, Magruder Mountain, Yellow Hills, Sheep Mountain, and Monte Cristo allotments outside of the HMAs in which wild horses and burros are commonly present. The area falls under the jurisdictional boundaries of the Tonopah Field Office. Maps of the HMAs and the proposed gather area are located within the Montezuma Peak and Paymaster Wild Horse and Burro Gather EA.

The most recent helicopter population inventory flight of the Montezuma Peak and Paymaster HMAs was conducted in February, 2010 which resulted in a direct count of 129 wild horses and 61 wild burros with 132 of the 190 animals observed (69%) located outside of the HMA boundaries. The anticipated post-foaling population in 2010 will be 149 wild horses and 71 wild burros. Inventory data indicates that the Montezuma Peak and Paymaster HMA herds maintain an average annual rate of increase of 16%.

The Montezuma Peak and Paymaster HMA wild horse and burro gather is needed to: 

  • remove wild horses and burros from areas outside the HMAs that are not designated for wild horse use, 
  • remove excess wild horses and burros from within the HMAs to achieve a population size consistent with the established AML, allowing for up to three years of population growth before AML is again exceeded, 
  • to protect the wild horse and burro populations from diminished health and body condition, and suffering emergency conditions due to a lack of forage and water,
  • protect rangeland resources from deterioration associated with an overpopulation of wild horses and burros, and 
  • restore and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple use relationship on the public lands consistent with the provisions of Section 3(b) (2) of the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 (WFRHBA). 

By removing excess wild horses and burros and maintaining a population consistent with the established AML, progress would be made towards achievement of Mojave/Southern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council (RAC) Standards for Rangeland Health. Please refer to the EA for more detail about the Montezuma Peak and Paymaster HMAs and the proposed wild and burro horse gather.


One Response to “Montezuma Peak and Paymaster HMA Wild Horse & Burro Gather PEA Available for Public Comment”

  1. This does not appear to be a truly excessive population of wild equids but rather one that is quite small and represents an attempt to restore balance to the ecosystem. I oppose these draconian roundups!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: