The 21,932 acre HMA, which is “managed for a healthy wild horse herd in balance with other resources and uses,” the BLM said in announcing its final Environmental Assessment and decision record this week, has a current estimated population of approximately 90 wild horses (including the 2011 foal crop), according to the ground survey completed in May by volunteers with the Four Corners Backcountry Horsemen.
The appropriate management level identified for the population in this HMA is 35-65 wild horses; up to 10 of the captured adult horses will be released to maintain herd population within the established appropriate management level. Mares released back into the HMA will be given applications of the contraceptive porcine zona pellucida.
Wild horse numbers have increased by an average of 23 percent per year since the HMA was gathered in 2007.
About 25 of the wild horses gathered will be available for adoption through the BLM’s wild horse and burro program, at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds on Saturday, September 24 at 9 a.m., in Cortez.
Individuals interested in adopting a horse must meet corral and shelter requirements. These standards are at www.blm.gov/adoptahorse/requirements.php. The wild horses that are not
adopted will be placed in long-term pastures.
“We are dedicated to managing a healthy wild horse herd in the Dolores Field Office that is in balance with other public land uses and resources,” said BLM Associate Field Manager Tom Rice.
Copies of the environmental assessment and decision record are available at www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/sjplc/wild_horses.html or from the Dolores Field Office at 970/882-6843.
USDA Designates Delta, Mesa and Montrose Counties as Primary Natural Disaster Areas
WESTERN SLOPE – Delta, Mesa and Montrose counties, the major fruit growing counties on the Western Slope, have been designated primary natural disaster areas by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, due to losses caused by freezing temperatures that occurred April 26-May 3.
Farmers and ranchers in contiguous counties, including Ouray and San Miguel counties, also qualify for natural disaster assistance.
ON-LINE COURSE OFFERED FOR HUNTER EDUCATION
RIDGWAY – An on-line home study Hunter Education Course is being offered by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Those who take the on-line course must participate in a skills class Aug. 13 at the Ridgway Community Center.
The on-line course is a convenient way for prospective hunters to obtain their hunter safety cards. Hunters can study the coursework on their own at home.
The skills class will include firearms safety with shooting, hunter responsibility, wildlife regulations and other hands-on activities. To obtain their safety card, students must pass a written exam and complete the live fire exercises at the skills class. The Aug. 13 session runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1949, who wants to hunt in the fall, must have a valid hunter education card prior to purchasing a hunting license. To register please call the Division of Wildlife at 970-209-2369. There must be a minimum of 10 people registered for the class for it to be held.