From the Cloud Foundation
Background. The Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range (PMWHR is a spectacular wilderness but a high percentage of the 39,651 acres is rocky and unproductive for grazing. The herd now exceeds 160 adult horses. Without range expansion which TCF actively pursues, there must be some limited removals to ensure that the range continues to support the herd. There are no livestock on the range. The BLM is seeking your comments on their proposal to remove “up to 25” young horses from the range starting this year.
Because BLM’s email system is inadequate to accept large volumes of correspondence they request that you send a snail mail letter. Please formulate a polite letter in your own words. Here are some points to make:
- Strongly Encourage BLM to adopt Alternative A, which calls for small, incremental removals as opposed to one large removal. Alternative A comes in response to suggestions made by responders to the Scoping document.
- Ask that a time limit of three years be placed on these small removals, then assess whether further removals are needed based on the new PZP protocols as well as unpredictable limiting factors (i.e. weather/predation).
- Remove no more than 6-10 young animals in any one year, so all the horses removed will have the opportunity to find good homes and the fragile genetics of this unique Spanish herd are not placed in jeopardy.
- Do not eliminate the yearlings from the removal protocol. Yearlings are traditionally the most easily adopted, and adapt more readily to a domestic setting. Spreading the limited removals over mainly the yearling and two-year old quadrants will ensure that no unique animals will be removed and that the horses will be more likely to find homes and successfully adapt to a domestic life.
- Remove as few three year-old as possible. Many three year-old fillies are settling in to life with their new bands and most three year-old males have become bachelor stallions, honing the skills they will need to one day win a mare. Because of this and their age, three year-olds typically require more time and expertise to gentle and train than most yearlings and two year-olds.
- Do not remove any young horse that threatens the loss of a genetic line.
- Do not remove any young horse that threatens the loss of a color. Encore is a low priority based on her sex and color. Mato Ska is the only blaze-faced roan that has ever been born on the Pryor Mountains to our knowledge. Palominos, Blue Roans and Buckskins are rare colors that must be preserved.
- Please acknowledge that we appreciate being listened to!
Send your letter postmarked by June 6 to:
BLM Billings Field Office
Attn: Jared Bybee
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, Mt. 49101-4669