BLM Finalizes Plan to Manage Smoke Creek Complex Wild Horses

The BLM has set the complex’s appropriate management level at 310 to 518 wild horses. The current population is estimated to be nearly 1,300 wild horses.
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The BLM has set the complex's appropriate management level at 310 to 518 wild horses. The current population is estimated to be nearly 1,300 wild horses. | Photo: iStock

On April 13 the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Nevada’s Winnemucca District Black Rock Field Office issued a decision record (DR) and finding of no significant impact (FONSI) based on analysis provided in the Smoke Creek Complex Gather Plan environmental assessment (EA), which describes the agency’s 10-year gather plan to manage wild horses within the Smoke Creek Complex.

The Smoke Creek Complex consists of two herd management areas (HMAs): the Buffalo Hills HMA and the Fox and Lake Range HMA. The BLM has set the combined appropriate management level (AML) at 310 to 518 wild horses. The current population is estimated to be nearly 1,300 wild horses.

The BLM said the 10-year gather plan’s purpose is to reduce the wild horse and burro population to achieve a low AML and maintain the wild horse and burro population within the AML ranges over the long term. The agency said gathers are necessary to ensure the health of rangeland resources from deterioration associated with excess population of wild horses within and outside the HMAs within the complex and to restore a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple use relationship on the public lands

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