URGENT: Sheldon Horses at Risk

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) intends to skirt the issue of continued management of wild horses on the Sheldon Wildlife Refuge in Northern Nevada by directing public attention to “gathering options.” The current Environmental Assessment (EA) does not address comprehensive options for managing wild horses and burros. We need your public comments to address the real issues and STOP the planned gathers of wild horses NOW! To manage wild horses at Sheldon Wildlife Refuge, FWS must:

1. Suspend all gathers until a comprehensive conservation plan has been completed for the management of wild horses and burros at the Sheldon Wildlife Refuge.

2. Manage wild horses and burros as wildlife, not “feral animals,” and consider them a part of the bio-diversity of species on the refuge. Horses have resided in the area long before it was designated as a Wildlife Refuge, and are considered by the public and FWS as part of the visitor experience for “viewing wildlife.” They are also of historic significance and share habitat areas with adjacent wild horses and burros managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

3. Gather scientific data on all wild horses and burros, as would be done with any species managed by the federal government. Currently, there is inadequate data for the continued management of wild horses and burros at the Sheldon Wildlife Refuge.

Persons seeking more detailed information on the EA should visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife website. A 30-day comment period on the EA began on April 17th, 2007. Written comments or questions should be e-mailed to sheldon-hart@fws.gov or sent to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 111, Lakeview, OR 97630. Comments must be received by May 17th, 2007. Please send a copy of your comments to Rep. Nick Rahall via an online comment form http://www.rahall.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=521&Itemid=162 as well as to IDA, 3010 Kerner Blvd., San Rafael, CA 94901, fax to (415) 388-0388 or email Melissa@idausa.org.

Thank you for taking action on this important issue.


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