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Comments Due Aug 27: Piceance-East Douglas Wild Horse Gather & West Douglas Info & Links…

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on August 22, 2010

Release Date: 08/11/10
Contacts:  David Boyd, Public Affairs Specialist, (970) 876-9008       

Environmental assessment for Piceance-East Douglas wild horse gather available for public comment (08-11-10)

MEEKER, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management has released for public review an environmental assessment addressing the gather plan to keep the wild horse population in southwest of Meeker, Colo., within appropriate levels.

The BLM’s White River Field Office manages a wild horse population within the 190,000-acre Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area. Wild horse gathers are typically conducted about every four years and were most recently conducted in this area in 2006.

The current wild horse population for the Piceance-East Douglas HMA is approximately 318, but the appropriate management level identified for the population is between 135 and 235 wild horses. An additional 138 wild horses are found outside the HMA.

The proposed gather would begin in October and remove 183 of the estimated 318 wild horses from the Piceance-East Douglas HMA, along with the 138 wild horses found outside the HMA.

The majority of the wild horses gathered will be available for adoption through BLM’s wild horse and burro program. The wild horses not adopted will be placed in long-term pastures.

“We are dedicated to managing a healthy wild horse herd in the White River Field Office that is in balance with other public land uses and resources,” said White River Field Manager Kent Walter.

Gathering methods could include helicopter drive-trapping, helicopter-assisted roping, and water- and bait-trapping. Under one alternative, fertility control would be applied to mares released back into the HMA, and BLM would adjust the sex ratio to include more male horses to help slow population growth.

Copies of the environmental assessment are available at, or by contacting the White River Field Office, (970) 878-3800. BLM will accept public comment on the environmental assessment until Aug. 27, 2010.

Under the authority of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, BLM manages, protects, and controls wild horses and burros as part of its overall multiple-use mission.  The Bureau works to ensure that population levels are in balance with rangeland resources and other uses of the public lands. Wild horses have virtually no predators and can double in population about every four years if not managed.

BLM is also planning to gather the wild horses in the nearby West Douglas Herd Area in October. This gather was addressed in a separate environmental assessment.

BLM manages four Herd Management Areas in western Colorado for wild horse herds: The Piceance-East Douglas west of Meeker, the Little Bookcliffs Herd northeast of Grand Junction, the Sand Wash Herd west of Craig, and the Spring Creek Herd southwest of Montrose. 

BLM encourages those who are interested in providing good homes to wild horses or burros to visit for information about adoptions or sales.

The White River Resource Area is located in northwest Colorado and incorporates parts of Rio Blanco, Moffat, and Garfield Counties.  The Field Office resource area includes approximately 2,675,360 acres of BLM, national forest, national park, state, and privately owned administered lands.  Of this, the BLM administers approximately 1,455,900 BLM surface and subsurface acres, and an additional 365,000 acres of mineral estate underlying state and privately owned surface estate. 

White River Field Office
220 E. Market Street
Meeker, CO 81641
Phone: (970) 878-3800
FAX:  (970) 878-3805

Office Hours:  Monday – Friday 7:45AM to 4:30PM, Closed on Federal Holidays

Piceance – East Douglas Herd Management Area (HMA)

West Douglas Herd Area (HA)

West Douglas Herd Area Amendment to the White River Resource Management Plan EA FY – 2003

Environmental Assessment FY – 2005

Environmental Assessment FY – 2010 DOI-BLM-CO-110-2010-0088-Preliminary EA

News Releases:

White River Field Office Oil and Gas Resource Management Plan (RMP) Amendment – The White River Field Office is working on a Resource Management Plan Amendment and associated EIS that will address the potential impacts of significant increases in oil and gas development within the 1.5 million acre field office over the next 20 years.

White River Field Office Planning and NEPA Page – For information on planning and environmental analysis of current NEPA actions and links to completed NEPA actions. This website if is updated monthly. 

View Detailed Land Status Map

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Piceance East Douglas, West Douglas | 1 Comment »