BulkTransmission/Wild and Scenic Rivers
Transmission Wild and Scenic Rivers
On federally managed lands, The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (43 U.S.C. §1901) recognizes that, “wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people…. They shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.” Private lands, or partially private properties are not included in this Act. The Federal Land Policy Management Act (FLPMA) (43 U.S.C. §1701) has set aside land for wild horse and burro habitat to achieve its “multiple use” clause. Varied federal activity is allowed on public lands to encourage sustainable resource use, recreation or plant and animal inhabitance. FLPMA mandates helicopter and motor vehicle use to capture or transport horses or burros under federal supervision. The United States Forest Service(USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) oversee balance assessments, scientific recommendations, habitat restoration, and development projects to carry out herd management and health.
Wild and Scenic Rivers Impacts & Mitigation
Coexisting with horses and burros on a transmission line site can be accomplished with minor mitigation measures to decrease impacts to the site and herd. Development poses impacts to wild horse and burro trails, seasonal occupancy, and habitats. Increased traffic on new or existing access roads may impact herd safety. Typical mitigation includes:
- Place signs along the public roads to caution drivers of wild horse crossing. Thank drivers for their cooperation.
- Determine wild horse and burro trails on site and avoid those paths.
- Use underground pipeline segments opposed to above ground pipelines to mitigate horse injury and habitat disturbance.
- Gather information on horse and burro patterns to inform all employees where herds meet, live, and run through.
- Highlight that harassment; capture, branding, sale or death of these animals is illegal.