Environmental Assessment for the Seaman and White River Herd Areas – Comments due January 22nd 2018
January 19, 2018
BLM Ely District Office
Dear BLM officials:
I am writing to urge not to go ahead with proposed decision to eliminate all wild horses from their legal Herd Areas (HAS), known as the Seaman HA and the White River HA. I have visited these areas and their wild horses and there is no overpopulation and the habitat is adequate to support the remaining 365 wild horses here. I should not have to remind you that the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act gives a right for these wild horses to remain here and that what you are proposing is a direct contradiction of this national law.
I am aware that around seven hundred cattle graze in this same area, thus already the wild horses are being treated unfairly within their own legal area on BLM lands. There are well over two square miles of legal habitat for each remaining individual wild horse, and these animals are very adaptive and have proven their capability of surviving here. To eliminate them displays extreme prejudice against them as well as against the many citizens of the United States who greatly admire and support the continued life of the wild horses upon the public lands. As public officials you should be fair-minded and not given to favoring just certain vested interests such as the ranchers who exploit the resources. The wild horses are also great practically speaking, as they complement the overly promoted ruminant herbivores, being themselves post-gastric digesters and as such contribute more to building healthy soils via the humus they create with their droppings, and also by the same means, by the many intact seeds of many plant species that are successfully dispersed thereby. They are also great preventers and mitigation agents of catastrophic wildfires — much on the increase in this alarming era of Global Warming. Here they are of extreme practical value and their presence saves millions of dollars in unnecessary fire-fighting and loss of forage, sterilization of soils, loss of wildlife, including the threatened Greater Sage Grouse and its special habitat.
I would welcome the opportunity to work with you in developing a Reserve Design plan that could be developed to assure that: (1) the wild horses of these two HAs are truly allowed a genetically viable herd size, (2) the wild horses of these two HAs are allowed to adapt harmoniously to their unique habitats, or ecosystems, and are not set back in this process by thoughtless helicopter roundups, and (3) that through the proper application of the principles of Reserve Design these wild horses would be allowed to achieve natural self-stabilization of their population numbers by being allowed to establish mature social units, or bands and to fill their niche space, within a variously implemented bounded Herd Management Area.
Craig C. Downer, Wildlife Ecologist