Special to the Herald TimesMEEKER I The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will host a public hearing and scoping meeting on March 1 in Meeker for a proposed wild horse gather later this year in the Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area (HMA).The public hearing will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the BLM White River Field Office (WRFO), 220 East Market St. The hearing portion of the meeting will specifically address the use of motorized vehicles and helicopters to gather wild horses from the Piceance-East Douglas HMA, North Piceance Herd Area (HA), and areas outside of the HMA.Once the public hearing is concluded, the BLM will follow with a scoping meeting for the public to address issues of concern in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment (EA) for this proposed wild horse gather. The scoping meeting will be an opportunity for the public to identify issues to be addressed in the EA before BLM begins drafting the final document. If the BLM decides to move forward with the gather, it will not take place before June 15 to avoid peak foaling season.“It’s very important to hear from the public before we begin drafting the EA,” said Kent Walter, WRFO Manager. “We want to address the public’s concerns from the outset and ensure we have the most complete information.”Attendance at these meetings is not required to submit scoping comments to BLM. Comments can also be sent via mail to the BLM, White River Field Office, 220 East Market St., Meeker, CO 81641. Comments can also be sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note in the subject line of either the mail or the e-mail “White River HMA Scoping Comments.”Scoping comments must be received no later than March 4.