‘Not going to happen:’ BLM’s acting director wants to prioritize wildfires and horses, not transferring public lands – The Salt Lake Tribune

Under his watch, the BLM has begun to implement a $1 billion, 10-year plan to remove about 130,000 horses and burros from public rangelands in Nevada, Utah and neighboring states with the goal of getting the population to 27,000, the number the BLM determined is the appropriate level. The plan also includes subsidizing adoptions to the tune of $1,000 per horse and the use of a contraceptive called GonaCon.

Pendley expects to ramp up the removal of pinyon pines and junipers that officials say have encroached onto rangelands that were once dominated by sagebrush.

About half of those acres saw mechanical treatments, typically involving the removal of pinyons and junipers, while the rest were split between prescribed burning and chemical treatments. The BLM is using “categorical exclusions” to the National Environmental Policy Act to authorize the pinyon-juniper treatments without environmental reviews. Pendley defended that practice, which has drawn fire from environmental groups.

‘Not going to happen:’ BLM’s acting director wants to prioritize wildfires and horses, not transferring public lands – The Salt Lake Tribune