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ELKO — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has completed draft standards and guidelines for rangeland health assessment on the Warm Creek and Snow Water Lake allotments in Elko County.

The assessment is the first step in evaluating the allotments and the renewal of the grazing permit for livestock, according to the Elko BLM District. The document is available for public review.

The draft assessment also identifies a proposed alternative submitted by Tommy LLC, the current permittee, to convert authorized livestock on the allotments from cattle to domestic horses, the BLM reported.

The allotments near Wells are those owned by Madeleine Pickens, who proposes a horse sanctuary. She is founder of Saving America’s Mustangs.

No federally managed wild horses or burros will be authorized on either allotment, however, according to the BLM.

Following the public review of the assessment, the BLM will evaluate the proposed change in kind of livestock, carrying capacity, the proposed changes to the grazing system, and possible additional range improvement projects and/or redevelopment of existing range improvement projects, according to the BLM.

The permittee purchased the base properties associated with these two allotments in December 2010, and the Wells Field Office issued a grazing permit for domestic cattle at that time.

In July 2011, an application was submitted to change the kind of livestock authorized on these two allotments from cattle to domestic horses, together with a proposal to change the grazing system on these allotments.

The BLM is seeking input from members of the public interested in livestock grazing management on the Snow Water Lake and Warm Creek Allotments in developing management strategies and alternatives that are in conformance with the Wells Resource Management Plan.

All comments must be received by the Wells Field Office by close of business on April 9. Comments may be mailed to the above address, faxed to 753-0255, or e-mailed to: BLM _NV_ELDO_WarmCreek

To review the assessment, see the BLM website at under “What We Do — Grazing.”

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