Inyo National Forest, BLM Seek Input on Proposed Removal of Wild Horses Outside Montgomery Pass Wild Horse Territory

BISHOP, Calif. – Inyo National Forest, in coordination with the Bureau of Land Management, is seeking public comment on a preliminary Environmental Assessment to consider removal of wild horses outside of the Montgomery Pass Wild Horse Territory in Mono County. The comment period is now and is expected to close June 26, 2024.

“The BLM is committed to working with the Inyo National Forest, stakeholders, and interested members of the public on reducing impacts to resources and addressing public safety concerns
associated with wild horses outside of Montgomery Pass wild horse territory,” said BLM Bishop Field Manager Sherri Lisius.

The proposed action would remove wild horses in areas that include, but are not limited to, the Mono Basin (i.e. horses located in wetlands along Mono Lake), CA State Route 120E, and US Highway 6. These priority areas are experiencing direct impacts to critical wetlands that are vital habitat for wildlife, as well as resource damage to the unique geological tufa formations. The proposal includes measures to remove horses from private lands when requested and where there are animal safety
concerns.

The Inyo National Forest’s priority is to work with the BLM on the proposed action to conduct a safe, efficient, and successful horse gather operation while ensuring humane care and treatment of all
animals gathered,” said Inyo National Forest Mono Lake District Ranger Stephanie Heller.

The Montgomery Pass Wild Horse Territory is managed for a wild horse population between 138 to 230 animals under the 2019 Inyo National Forest Land Management Plan. A 2024 aerial survey of the surrounding areas estimated 699 horses, with most of the horses located outside the territory in areas not designated for their use.

Wild horses that stray from their established areas may be removed to reduce conflicts with other resources under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. Animals removed are transported to USDA Forest Service off range corrals, where they are checked by a veterinarian and prepared for adoption and sale programs or long-term pastures or sanctuaries.

Comments may be submitted through the BLM National NEPA Register (preferred) by selecting the “Participate Now” button in left-hand margin. Comments may also be mailed to 351 Pacu Lane, Bishop, CA 93514, or emailed to: BLM_CA_Bishop_MPWHT@blm.gov. Please address comments to the “Outside of Montgomery Pass PEA”

For more information or access issues contact: BLM_CA_Bishop_MPWHT@blm.gov.