BLM begins process to analyze proposed wild horse eco-sanctuary

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Updated: 8/15/2012 11:31 am
ELKO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has published in the Federal Register a Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement to analyze the potential impacts of the proposed Northeast Nevada Wild Horse Eco-Sanctuary.

The proposal is to create a wild horse eco-sanctuary of a non-reproductive herd on most of the existing Spruce Grazing Allotment, including about 14,000 acres of private land and 508,000 acres of public land, approximately 25 miles southeast of Wells, Nev. The Notice of Intent opens a 30-day public scoping period that will end Sept. 14, 2012 or 15 days after the last public scoping open house.

Open houses, where representatives will be on hand to answer questions, are scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. at the following dates and locations:

Aug. 29
Wells City Hall
525 6th Street
Wells, Nev. 89835

Aug. 30
Hyatt Place, Reno – Meeting Room 1
1790 East Plumb Lane
Reno, Nev. 89502

Sept. 4
Elko Convention Center – Cedar Room
700 Moran Way
Elko, Nev. 89801

Authorizing the proposal could 1) restructure the three wild horse herd management areas within the project area and 2) remove a portion of the Spruce Allotment from the N1 Grazing District. Both actions would require an amendment to the 1985 Wells Resource Management Plan.

The public is being asked to identify issues relevant to the preparation of an EIS for the proposed eco-sanctuary and the possible plan. The wild horse eco-sanctuary would be operated by Saving America’s Mustangs, a non-profit group, which has purchased the Spruce Ranch and acquired the associated grazing permit in the Spruce Allotment. The proponent also seeks to develop an eco-tourism operation in conjunction with the wild horse eco-sanctuary.

The BLM has identified preliminary issues to include
•Potential effects to archaeological resources
•Potential effect to Greater sage-grouse and other sensitive species
•Potential effects to important elk, mule deer and other wildlife habitats
•Ability to manage healthy wild horse populations
•Ensure public access for recreational purposes

BLM is asking, as part of the scoping effort, for the public to submit any suggestions for consideration, and any and all information that would help provide for a thorough and accurate analysis.

Interested individuals should send written comments to the BLM Elko District Office, Wells Field Office, 3900 E. Idaho Street, Elko, NV 89801, Attn: Wild Horse Eco-Sanctuary, or fax at (775) 753-0385. Comments may also be submitted to the project e-mail address: EcoSanctuaryComments@blm.gov.

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.

Additional information is available online at: www.blm.gov/rv5c.

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