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

Posts Tagged ‘HMA’

BLM Issues Decision for Spring Creek Wild Horse Gather (Updated EA)

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on August 8, 2011

Release Date: 08/02/11

Contacts: Shannon Borders, Public Affairs Specialist, (970) 240-5399

BLM Issues Decision for Spring Creek Wild Horse Gather

NORWOOD, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management issued the final environmental assessment and decision record for its gather plan for the wild horse population in the Spring Creek Basin Herd Management Area southwest of Norwood, Colo.

Beginning about Thursday, September 15, BLM will gather approximately 60 wild horses in the Herd Management Area, which is a 21,932 acre area managed for a healthy wild horse herd that is in balance with other resources and uses. The current estimated population of wild horses in the HMA is about 90. This number is based on ground survey completed in May 2011 by volunteers with the Four Corners Backcountry Horsemen and includes the 2011 foal crop. 

The appropriate management level identified for the population in this HMA is between 35 to 65 wild horses.  Up to 10 of the captured adult horses will be released to maintain herd population within the established appropriate management level.   The application of the contraceptive porcine zona pellucida will be administered to mares released back into the HMA.

Wild horse numbers have increased an average of 23 percent per year since the HMA was gathered in 2007, thereby reducing the frequency of gathers.

About 25 of the wild horses gathered will be available for adoption through BLM’s wild horse and burro program.  The adoption will be held at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds on Saturday, September 24 at 9 a.m. in Cortez. Individuals interested in adopting a horse must meet corral and shelter requirements.  These standards are at The wild horses not adopted will be placed in long-term pastures.

“We are dedicated to managing a healthy wild horse herd in the Dolores Field Office that is in balance with other public land uses and resources,” said Tom Rice, BLM Associate Field Manager.

Copies of the environmental assessment and decision record are available at or by contacting the Dolores Field Office at (970) 882-6843.

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 manages four Herd Management Areas in western Colorado for wild horse herds: the Piceance-East Douglas Herd 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 Norwood. BLM encourages those who are interested in providing good homes to wild horses or burros to visit for information about adoptions or sales.


Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Spring Creek HMA | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather Update, July 13, 2010 @ 1215hrs CST

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 13, 2010

Ok… Just talked with a few different folks out at the gather. Don’t quote me on any of this yet because everything was said so fast and there was so much information – I haven’t double checked anything yet. I usually don’t even post anything without the double and triple check but I’ll make an exception for this situation given the circumstances.

According to what I have been told so far this morning, there are no cattle on these lands currently, nor have there been cattle or any other livestock on these lands for quite some time. The reason is due to the lack of water on the range. Basically, the ranchers don’t even want to see their livestock out there because there isn’t enough water for them, let alone them plus the horses.

Additionally, there are no fences around the watering holes. The terrain simply does not allow for fences as it is very rocky and very uneven. And of course, if they’re not going to graze their livestock on it, why would they waste their time, money and energy putting up fences.

According to the National Weather Service the area in which these horses reside has been in drought conditions for the past 10 years. Currently, it is under a “Red Flag Warning” and a Hazardous Weather Outlook” statement has been issued. These warnings indicate that the chances for wildfires are extremely high given the drought conditions and the gusting winds across the area. The Elko, NV Regional Precipitation Table (both current and past) can be found here: Precipitation maps for the past month can be seen here:

And lastly (for the moment) – there were the campers out by the next nearest water source – the river. Apparently, in light of all of the criticism regarding land closures (not just from advocates but also from those who use the lands for recreation) the BLM utilized the “tightest and smallest land area closure as necessary in order to facilitate the gather process”. They kept the length of times as small as they could, as well as the amount of acreage that would be closed as small as they could while still trying to make sure no one would be hurt by a herd of horses galloping their direction. These closures were all done by the Tuscarora Field Office. Idaho officials were not involved.

The contractor performed a fly-over of the area in order to locate other possible sources of water for the horses, i.e. which one would be closest to get water to the horses.  Unfortunately, there were campers from the Idaho side that crossed into the area and had set up camp next to the river where the horses would normally receive their water when other sources were dry. Because of the camp, the horses would not approach the river, and therefore were becoming very dehydrated. The contractor promptly returned to base and informed the gather officials of the situation, who then in turn contacted the Ranger’s office who of course went out and told the campers to vacate the area. No word yet on whether or not the horses moved towards the river or not.

Bottom Line: This area is a fire pit of rich-lighter-pine just waiting for a spark. (Rich-lighter-pine in the South is the equivalent of whatever the North has that burns good, hot, and fast LOL.) Talk has been spread around about whether or not an Emergency Gather should have taken place a month ago due to the range conditions. Whether advocates like it or not, BLM does have authority over the horses. Whether advocates choose to believe it or not, BLM does conduct some gathers that are really in the best interest of the horses and no one else. This gather has already had casualties and it’s only a few days along, a high number of casualties when comparatively speaking. The area is dry. The horses have good body condition scores, but remember – BCS measures physical, objective ratings that are seen from the outside of the body. Yes, these are indicators of what is happening inside the body, but without further examination and tests the true nature of a physiological or pathophysiological condition cannot be known for certain. These are just a few resources regarding this subject:

More details to come as I get them.


Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather | Tagged: , , , , , | 61 Comments »

Adobe Town & Salt Wells Wild Horse Removal 2010 – UPDATED

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on April 2, 2010

In light of new information received today, I pulled this post earlier until said information could be researched and verified. Now I am re-posting the original information along with this new information with a word of caution…

The Adobe Town / Salt Wells HMA Gather is a very unique situation. Some of you may already know the history, but for those who don’t, allow me to explain. And please remember, this is for informational purposes only, but I do ask each of you to consider your opinions of this gather very carefully before proceeding with comments and petitions.

In 1979, the Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA) entered into an agreement with the BLM. In accordance with the 1971 WFRH&BAct, BLM is required to maintain the multiple use purposes of public lands. If BLM kept up their end of this deal efficiently and effectively, in return the RSGA would allow the wild horses to Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 89 Comments »

WH&B Articles from the Toiyabe Chapter of the Sierra Club…

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on March 22, 2010

Some of these are repeats, but some are new. Figured I’d put all of ’em here for you guys to check out. Some of these are actually pretty interesting. Give it a shot, you might be surprised.

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts, Ruby Pipeline, LLC | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments »

BLM Rangeland Inventory, Monitoring, & Evaluation Reports

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on March 21, 2010

Rangeland Inventory, Monitoring, & Evaluation Reports 

Each fiscal year since 1989, the Bureau of Land Management has compiled a national, BLM-wide Rangeland Inventory, Monitoring, and Evaluation Report. This report contains 7 tables and has undergone various modifications through time. Tables 1, 2, and 3 contain results on the BLM’s vegetation inventories and trend. Tables 1 through 3 are presented to satisfy Section 201(a) of The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976, as amended, and the Public Rangelands Improvement Act (PRIA) of 1978, both of which affirm Congress’s intent to have BLM prepare and maintain on a continuing basis an inventory of public rangeland conditions and trends. Table 4 reports how livestock grazing allotments are categorized. Tables 5 and 6 report on monitoring activities and plans implemented on allotments. Table 7 reports on results of evaluations of Standards for Rangeland Health.

This report is generated by the BLM National Operations Center in Denver, Colorado.

Contact Mike “Sherm” Karl at or at 303-236-0166 for more detail.

PDF versions of the reports are listed below for Fiscal Years since 1989. Click on the year to download the report.

Current Year (Fiscal Year 2009)

Previous Years
1989 1993 1997 2001 2005
1990 1994 1998 2002 2006
1991 1995 1999 2003 2007
1992 1996 2000 2004 2008

 Content Manager: Sherm Karl,

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts, Eagle Gather Feb 2010, McGavin Peak Gather, Ruby Pipeline, LLC, You Be the Judge Series | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

IDA v. Salazar, from Animal Legal & Historical Ctr…

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on March 18, 2010

Specifically, Section III DISCUSSION, Sub-Section B. Placement of Excess Horses in Long-Term Holding Facilities, 1. The Merits
March 18, 2010, From Animal Legal & Historical Center:
Case Details: IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS, et al., Plaintiffs, v. Ken SALAZAR, et al., Defendants
Court Date: 12/23/2009
Court Citation:
Docket Number: Civil Action No. 09-2222 (PLF)
Judges: PAUL L. FRIEDMAN, District Judge
Attorneys: William James Spriggs, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, Pc, Washington, DC, for Plaintiffs. John B. Grosko, U.S. Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resource, Washington, DC, for Defendants
Appealed From:
Appealed To:

United States District Court, District of Columbia
In Defense of Animals v. Salazar
United States
— F.Supp.2d —-, 2009 WL 4981172 (D.D.C.)Summary:

In this case, the Plaintiffs, In Defense of Animals, Craig C. Downer, and Terri Farley, attempted to obtain a preliminary injunction that would stop the defendants, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and representatives of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (“the Bureau”), from implementing a plan to capture or gather approximately 2,700 wild horses located in western Nevada (“gather plan”).  The Bureau wanted to corral the horses to bring the horse population under control so that it might protect the “ecological balance” of the area.  The plaintiffs contended that the gather plan had to be set aside pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq., because the Bureau did not have the statutory authority to carry out the gather plan, and because the plan did not comply with the terms of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (“Wild Horse Act”), 16 U.S.C. §§ 1331 et seq.  The Court denied the Plaintiffs request for an injunction. 

The Court held that in order to warrant preliminary injunctive relief, the moving parties had to show: (1) that there was a substantial Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BLM, Calico Complex Gather 2009-2010, Daily Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

News Release: BLM Realigns Law Enforcement Program to Enhance Operations

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on March 16, 2010

Release Date: 03/15/10

Contacts: Melodie Lloyd, 202-912-7412

BLM Realigns Law Enforcement Program to Enhance Operations

Link to Map of BLM Law Enforcement Management Regions

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Bureau of Land Management today announced the realignment of its Office of Law Enforcement and Security (OLES) headquartered in Washington, D.C. The OLES program has remained largely unchanged since its inception nearly 40 years ago, and the realignment, effective immediately, is designed to improve program efficiency and effectiveness bureauwide by realigning jurisdictions and responsibilities formerly carried out by 11 Special Agents-in-Charge (SAC) located across the country. The realignment is consistent with the Department of the Interior policy and does not affect program operations for Rangers stationed in the field and managed by the BLM’s State Offices.

“As our country’s population grows and the use of public lands has risen, we have seen a significant increase in serious criminal activity on the National System of Public Lands,” said Mike Pool, BLM Deputy Director of Operations. “The BLM’s Office of Law Enforcement and Security is faced with growing challenges in its attempt to support not only public and employee safety and health, but also the protection of natural, cultural, and historic resources.”

Through the realignment, there are now five regions with one SAC based in each of the regions — Sacramento, Calif. (Region 1); Portland, Ore. (Region 2); Salt Lake City, Utah (Region 3); Denver, Colo. (Region 4); and Santa Fe, New Mex. (Region 5). The realignment provides for 12 first-line supervisory Assistants to Special Agents-in-Charge (ASACs), who work under the SACs and greatly expand the BLM’s investigative capacity. ASACs also assist SACs with managing an increasingly complex program by supervising a growing number of field agents and acting as investigative liaison to BLM State Directors. Additionally, Chief Rangers, formerly known as State Staff Rangers, now have expanded leadership roles and increased ability to address issues they face as technical experts and liaisons with other uniformed law enforcement agencies.

“All of these changes are intended to benefit the nation’s public lands,” said William Woody, Director of the OLES. “This streamlining not only facilitates multi-jurisdictional law enforcement efforts, but most importantly, provides a way for us to develop personnel seeking to grow their skills and careers in the OLES program.”

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Austin/Tonopah FS Ranger District, Comments due by March 19, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on March 12, 2010

February 24, 2010 – Notice of Proposed Action and Opportunity to Comment:
“The Austin and Tonopah Ranger Districts of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest welcomes your comments on the Wild Horse and Burro Appropriate Management Levels (AMLs) Project. The purpose of this project is to update or establish AMLs and set general management direction for the Wild Horse and Burro territories (WHTs) on the Monitor, Hot Creek, and Toquima Mountain Ranges. We would like your thoughts on the scope of issues to be addressed in the environmental analysis (EA) and your comments on the proposed action.”
“Territory management plans for joint FS/BLM management and monitoring of the wild horse resource are nonexistent or outdated.” 
Battle Mountain Field Office and Tonopah Field Station, Wild Horse and Burro Population Tables
 *The 11 WHTs that are affected by this proposed action are located in the Monitor, Hot Creek, & Toquima Mountain Ranges. Because these WHTs are adjacent to BLM administered public lands in these areas, BLM and FS would collaborate on proposed actions regarding wild horses and burros affected. Within the eleven WHTs, there are 21 cattle allotments administered by the FS (14 active and 7 vacant). (See pdf document, page 6, Table 1 for grazing information.) Monitor Wild Horse Territory – History & Info from the FS
WHTs Kelly Creek, Butler Basin, Dobbin Summit, Sevenmile, Little Fish Lake, Monitor North, Stone Cabin, and Monitor South (located within the Monitor and Hot Creek Mountain Ranges). Hickison Burro, Northumberland, and Toquima (located within the Toquima Mountain Range). All are under the jurisdiction of the Austin/Tonopah Ranger Districts of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Contact: District Ranger, P.O. Box 130, Austin, NV 89310, (775)964-2671
HMAs – Saulsbury, Antelope, Hot Creek, and Willow Creek. These are under the jurisdiction of the BLM Battle Mountain District Field Offices – Tonopah & Mount Lewis.
Battle Mountain District Office, (Employee Directory)
50 Bastian Road, Battle Mountain, NV 89820, Phone: 775-635-4000 , Fax: 775-635-4034, Email:, District Manager: Gerald Smith
Tonopah Field Office, 1553 South Main Street, P.O. Box 911, Tonopah, NV 89049, Phone: 775-482-7800, Fax: 775-482-7810, Field Manager: Tom Seley
Mount Lewis Field Office, 50 Bastian Road, Battle Mountain, NV 89820, Phone: 775-635-4000, Field Manager: Doug Furtado  

Posted in Daily Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments »

BLM is Investigating the Helicopter Fly-over at Wild Horse Holding Corrals

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on March 2, 2010

BLM is investigating the helicopter fly-over at Broken Arrow USA / Fallon Facility. A private helicopter flew over and hovered for a few minutes above the Indian Lakes Road Short-term Holding Facility on Sunday, Feb. 14.  The next day a healthy stallion was found dead in the pen by a damaged corral panel. The death is attributed to a fractured neck that resulted from collision with the corral panel caused by the presence of the helicopter. 

Law enforcement rangers with the Bureau of Land Management are investigating the incident. If anyone has information about the incident, please call Mike Marquart at 775-861-6621.

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments »

Check Your Local Listings…

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on February 27, 2010

New Videos from ParelliTube

These are some great TV shows  for information on Cattle Grazing in the US, with highlights on legislation, daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly reports, and a ton of other important Land Use information. Check your local listings for channels & times. (Mine is RFDTV early in the mornings.) T.
“This Week in AgriBusiness”     “Cattleman to Cattleman”     “U.S. Farm Report”

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Twin Peaks Proposed Gather Info & Eagle Lake RMP Documents

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on February 25, 2010

 BLM Seeks Public Input on Proposed Horse Gather Release Date: 02/04/10 * Contacts: Jeff Fontana, (530) 252-5332 * News Release No. CA-NC-10-33

Who  BLM Eagle Lake FO
What  Seeking public input on a proposed gather/removal of wild horses & burros
Where  Twin Peaks HMA, northeast of Susanville, Calif.    (Twin Peaks HMA, CA-242)
How Many  1,800 wild horses and 180 burros
When  August and September 2010
Comment Period  February 5 and ends March 5, 2010
For What  Identify issues to be addressed in an EA
EA Release Date  about May 1, 2010
Current AML  448-758 horses and 72-116 burros
Current Est. Pop  2,300 horses and 250 burros
Birth Control Plans  Most mares not removed – PZP; Herd adjustment – Male:Female ratio with more studs than mares.

Comments can be sent to Eagle Lake Field Office, Attn: Twin Peaks Wild Horse Gather, 2950 Riverside Dr., Susanville, CA 96130. Comments may also be sent via email to Public Meeting was held on Wednesday, Sept. 2, at 7 p.m., at the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office, 2950 Riverside Dr., Susanville. News Release No. CA-N-09-78

Links of Interest:

Bureau of Land Management
Eagle Lake Field Office
2950 Riverside Drive
Susanville, CA 96130
Phone: (530) 257-0456
Fax: (530) 257-4831
Office Hours: 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., M-F
Contact us by Email

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

You Be the Judge, 10th Edition, February 18, 2010 – Q&A w/ John Neill, Mgr of the Fallon Facility…

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on February 18, 2010

You Be the Judge

10th Edition

February 18, 2010

By: Tracie Lynn Thompson

          On February 08, 2010 I spoke with Mr. John Neill, Manager at the now “infamous” Fallon Facility in Fallon, NV (AKA Indian Lakes Rd Facility or Broken Arrow USA) following the end of the 2009-2010 Calico Wild Horse Gather. Some of these answers you may have heard before, but I’d be willing to bet that you haven’t heard at least a few of ‘em from below. The topics I discussed with Mr. Neill included deeper exploration into:

  • The Colts with Hoof Sloughing
  • Calico Daily Gather Updates – Deciphered
  • The Miscarriages
  • The Calico / Fallon “Orphaned Foal”: Status Update
  • The Windbreaks
  • Dietary Concerns & Sorting Concerns

         I requested this conversation with Mr. Neill for a few reasons (curiosity mostly) but more so in response to the many comments and concerns about the communications – or lack of communications – between BLM personnel and the public. Now, I am not in Nevada, nor am I an “observer” of the gather from on site. But I am an observer nonetheless and I am a member of the public.

         For those not familiar with YBTJ Q&A format, these are very candid conversations from both me as the author and from the individual being questioned. I ask questions as pointedly and as bluntly as I can, and I report the answers as they are given to me, albeit checked for spelling and grammar. Mr. Neill proved true to YBTJ form and answered just as candidly as I was asking the questions.

         By the way, I left a few little “clues” throughout this edition –just for those who pick up on ‘em – as a reply to the questions of “what are my issues with this whole situation” and “sneak peaks” at my proposal for better management options. Best I can do at the moment, but of course – more to come later. And don’t forget to check out the great list of references and links at the end!

The Colts with Hoof Sloughing:

T: Medically speaking there is a correlation between nutritional deficiencies and a resultant inflammation – the inflammation being a precursor to the hoof sloughing. Could that be a possibility with these two cases? (1) (2)

Mr. Neill: That did not happen here.

T: Ok. What exactly did happen to these colts that would’ve caused sloughing of their hooves?

Mr. Neill: Extreme trauma to the foot / feet due to traveling too far over rocky terrain, that’s what’s happening there. It isn’t related to a diet change issue or anything nutritionally related. These two colts that have this trauma came in with poor body condition prior to the gather. The gather had nothing to do with their poor condition. The gather did have most likely everything to do with the trauma to their feet.

T: Just so I know that I have this correct, are you saying that the colts had in fact had “their feet run off” as some advocates have charged? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, You Be the Judge Series | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

You Be the Judge, 9th Edition, Supporting Documentation

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on February 13, 2010

Some of the supporting documentation for You Be the Judge, 9th Edition – The Ruby Conflict. Just for information and to download if you don’t have them already.Part 1:    

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, You Be the Judge Series | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How do you *lose* 19 Million Acres???

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on February 11, 2010

So how do you lose 19 million acres of land? Did ya forget it at home? Or maybe it’s in the bottom of your purse! All I can say is you better go to the closest hardware store – quick – and get some super glue ’cause you got some slippery hands!

Ok, so enough with the jokes (for now). I have received some questions following the last post of “Links, Links and More Links” about the public lands, grazing permits, etc. There was some confusion about what constituted an HA and an HMA, and where the approximately 19 million+ acres has gone. Hopefully, the information in this post will clear some of this up. Please let me know if there are any questions about all of this. There are links embedded in the information, and as well links to further informational sites at the end.

HA = Herd Area = the area in which the wild free-roaming horses and burros were found when the 1971 act was passed.

HMA = Herd Management Area = the area in which these equines are now managed by the BLM.

The difference in the total acreage of the HAs and HMAs comes to around 19 million+. That is to say, there are around 19 million+ acres less in the HMAs than there are in the HAs. The reasoning for this is due to – oddly enough – the railroad.

 From Wikipedia: “The First Transcontinental Railroad (known originally as the Pacific Railroad and later as the Overland Route), built in the United States between 1863 and 1869 by the Central Pacific Railroad of California and Union Pacific Railroad, connected Council Bluffs, Iowa/Omaha, Nebraska (via Ogden, Utah and Sacramento, California) to Alameda, California. By linking with the existing railway network of the Eastern United States, the road thus connected the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States by rail for the first time. Opened for through traffic on May 10, 1869, with the driving of the “Last Spike” at Promontory Summit, Utah, the road established a mechanized transcontinental transportation network that revolutionized the population and economy of the American West. Authorized by the Pacific Railroad Acts of 1862 and 1864 during the American Civil War and supported by 30-year U.S. government bonds and extensive land grants of government owned land, it was the culmination of a decades-long movement to build such a line and was one of the crowning achievements labor in the crossing of plains and high mountains westward by the Union Pacific and eastward by the Central Pacific.”

 Congress wanted to “entice” the railroad companies to build a rail line from coast to coast, so they used plots of land as incentive.

From the Pacific Railroad Act, July 01, 1862: “Section 3  And be it further enacted, {Land grants; alternate sections.} That there be, and is hereby, granted to the said company, for the purpose of aiding in the construction of said railroad and telegraph line, and to secure the safe and speedy, transportation of the mails, troops, munitions of war, and public stores thereon, every alternate section of public land, designated by odd numbers, {Changed to ten by Sec. 4, 1864, and grant to twenty miles.} to the amount of five alternate sections per mile on each side of said railroad, on the line thereof, and within the limits of ten miles on each side of said road, not sold, reserved, or otherwise disposed of by the United States, and to which a preemption or homestead claim may not have attached, at the time the line of said road is definitely fixed: {Minerals and timber; Sec. 4, 1864.} Provided that all mineral lands shall be excepted from the operation of this act; but where the same shall contain timber, the timber thereon is hereby granted to said company. And all such lands so granted by this section which shall not be sold or disposed of by said company within three years after the entire road shall have been completed, shall be subject to settlement and pre-emption like other lands, at a price not exceeding one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, to be paid to said company.

(This is just the first of many amendments and further legislation that would follow, known as the Pacific Railroad Acts.)

BLM came into existence in the 1950s when the Grazing Service was combined with the Federal Land Office. The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) is BLM’s primary authorizing act, with the Taylor Grazing Act 1934 and the Public Rangelands Improvement Act 1978 among other governing legislation (as amended).

By this time, much of the original 19+ million acres consisted of state or private land that would not be controlled by the BLM. There came to be a “checkerboard” land pattern with lands transferred to other agencies through legislation, hence federal management of wild horses on these lands is just not feasible.  There are other reasons as well. An approximate breakdown of the percentage of the 19 million+ acres and the reasons it was removed from wild horse or burro management are listed below.

  1. Land or Water not Controlled by BLM = 66%
  2. Unsuitable habitat = 12%
  3. Other reasons such as development, court orders, feasibility of managing very small isolated populations = 3%
  4. Horses claimed as private property during the claiming period authorized by the 1971 Act = 6%
  5. Resource conflicts such as T&E species = 10%
  6. Equine infectious anemia (Coggins) indigenous to the herd area = 3%

The following maps show how the checkerboard land affected the HMAs.  The first map just shows an example of what the checkerboard land is – the white sections are private lands and the yellow sections are federal land.  This patterning of the lands – one parcel private, the next public, private, public and so on – makes it impossible to manage wild horses in these areas without an agreement from the private landowner.  The next map shows the herd areas. The 3rd map shows the herd management areas, and how horses are not managed in these checkerboard areas except for a few in Wyoming where the BLM has agreements with the private landowner.
(Maps Courtesy of the National Wild Horse and Burro Program.)

Checkerboard Patterned Lands in Humboldt County, Nevada

Original Herd Areas in 1971

Herd Management Areas Where Horses are Managed Today

Coxrail: Railroad Land Grants

Library of Congress: Railroad Land Grants

Railroad Land Grant Chronology by George Draffan


Posted in BLM, Daily Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Upcoming Gathers… Info

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on January 27, 2010

Side notes of interest:    

The following lists the tentatively scheduled gathers starting with Calico and going through to Black Mountain in March 2010. The title is hyperlinked to the BLM webpage where this information can be found. As well, each BLM field office listed in the last column is hyperlinked to that office’s webpage.   

 Tentative Gather Schedule FY2010  

HMA Dates Gather Remove Field Office
Calico Mountains Complex 12/28/09 – 2/28/10 2,787 2,523 Winnemucca, NV
McGavin Peak 1/24/10 -1/29/10 20 20 Alturas, CA
Eagle 2/7/10 – 2/20/10 727 643 Ely, NV
Cibola-Trigo 3/4/10 – 3/10/10 90 90 Yuma, AZ
Hickison 3/2/10 – 3/15/10 92 75 Battle Mountain, NV
Alamo 3/11/10 – 3/14/10 35 35 Lake Havasu, AZ
Black Mountain 3/10/10 – 3/15/10 100 100 Kingman, AZ

BLM Field Office Contact Info for Antelope Gather… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BLM, Daily Posts, Eagle Gather Feb 2010, McGavin Peak Gather | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »