The BLM has issued a scoping notice for the McCullough Peaks Herd near Cody, Wyoming – I have been following and photographing this herd for 8 years
“BLM Seeks Input on Bait Trapping for McCullough Peaks Herd
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Cody Field Office is seeking public input on the use of bait trapping as a tool for managing the population of wild horses in the McCullough Peaks Wild Horse Herd Management Area (HMA).
The BLM proposes the use of bait trapping to gradually remove wild horses when the herd has exceeded its appropriate management level. Maintaining a population of approximately 100 adult wild horses will help prevent deterioration of rangelands and balance wild horses with other public rangeland resources and uses.
Public input is valuable early in the process and will enable the BLM to develop a well-informed environmental assessment. Comments may be emailed by Aug. 3, 2012, to: BLM_WY_McCulloughPeaksHMA@blm.gov
Comments may also be mailed to Tricia Hatle, BLM Cody Field Office, 1002 Blackburn Street, Cody, WY 82414 and postmarked by Aug. 3, 2012. This notice extends the deadline for input from July 30, the date in the original scoping letter sent to interested parties, to Aug. 3, 2012.
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, please contact BLM Wild Horse Specialist Tricia Hatle at 307-578-5900, or stop by the Cody Field Office at 1002 Blackburn Street.”
Things that you need to know:
*The Herd area is 110,000 acres. Currently the population of wild horses in the Herd Area is 167, including foals.
*The BLM wants to bring the herd down to 100 horses, which is below the level needed to sustain genetic viability (150 adults). Bringing the numbers of horses down to 100 will seriously jeopardize the genetic viability of the herd.
*FOAL, Friends of a Legacy, a group in Cody has been working in partnership with the BLM to improve the range and also on using birth control to control the numbers in this herd. Currently there are only 7 foals born in 2012, so the birth control is working. They have darted the mares with PZP again this summer – let all their hard work pay off and leave the herd alone, let the birth control work.
*There are livestock lessors who run cattle on the range. If the BLM wants to improve the conditions on the range, they should curtail use by livestock. This is a herd management area and as such the horses should be treated as the primary species in the herd area.
*The range is suffering from drought conditions this year. This is a natural cycle, and part of managing wild horses is dealing with these conditions. It is still cheaper to haul water to the horses than to remove them and put them into holding facilities where they will face an uncertain future.
*This is a very popular herd for the public to visit. It is close to Cody and relatively easy to access. The BLM should seek to preserve this herd, not endanger it.
Please submit your comments, in your own words, by email or mail by August 3.