Comments URGENT on EIS for Mount Hope Project (Due March 1, 2012)
Full draft EIS for the Mt. Hope project can be found here: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/battle_mountain_field/blm_information/national_environmental/mount_hope_project.html
PLEASE send comments to:
via email firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line ATTN: Angelica Rose / EIS MT. Hope Project Comment)
postmarked by March 1 via US mail to: BLM Battle Mountain District Office attn: Angelica Rose – 50 Bastian Road – Battle Mountain NV 89820
Tell BLM that they must choose the NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE.
Sample points below:
1) The proposed impact to the populations of effected wild horseHMA’s is unacceptable. The population numbers are already below genetic viability and the potential impact to water and legal grazing area is not acceptable.
2) One foot and five foot water draw down maps must be created before any decisions can be proposed for the project. To formulate a record of decision without this information is inappropriate and negligent to the mandate of “thriving ecological balance.”
3) This project encroaches on considerable acreage within three HMA’s. Roberts Mountain has over 13,000 acres within the scope of the project with over 5,000 acres of proposed surface disturbance. Whistler Mountain HMA has more than 8,000 acres within the project scope and over 3,000 projected for surface disturbance. Fish Creek also has areas that would have surface disturbance.
4) As the populations in this area are confined (predominately re: Fish Creek) by boundary lines that include limited to no water and move from those HMA’s the impact to these areas and consequence to any future populations must be of primary focus as “multiple use” is mandated under law.
5) The project will require 7000 gallons of water per minute for the lifetime of the proposed use (40-50 years) and will remove more than 11,300 acre feet of water annually. This is not acceptable considering the already fragile sources available to wild herds.
6) The known patterns of movement of these horses in these three areas indicates that HMA boundary lines were/are flawed. The lack of water sources within the boundary lines indicate they were faulty in their inception.
7) It is not enough to mitigate damages with spring repair after the projects construction phase has ended. If the project is to be considered new boundary lines should be mitigated to ensure that populations do not go any lower than they already are. Mitigation of damages needs to ensure that the horses do not lose any grazing acreage available to them. In the event of impact that adjacent, equal acreage is provided.
8) This project does not fully study the impacts and potential areas for mitigation for Wild Horses.
The “No Action” Alternative must be chosen until the full impacts to this legally mandated use is appropriately assessed.
PLEASE comment on the EIS for this project or you will be commenting on an EA to remove animals from this area next. By the time we get to wild horse EA’s it is often “too late.”
Horses Released in Battle Mountain District’s Stone Cabin Area. Last removed in 2007. 2012 roundup in this area saw adults returned after birth control.