BLM Begins Rock Springs Wild Horse Gather

BLM Begins Rock Springs Wild Horse Gather

Photo: iStock

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) began gathering and removing wild horses on Sept. 23 from the Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek, and Great Divide Basin herd management areas (HMAs) in southwestern Wyoming.

The BLM Rock Springs, Wyoming, Field Office said it plans to gather approximately 1,560 adult wild horses in response to the results of the 2017 census, which demonstrated that wild horse populations are exceeding the HMAs’ appropriate management levels.

Of the 1,560 wild horses to be gathered, approximately 725 would be removed from the Salt Wells Creek HMA, 513 from the Adobe Town HMA, and 322 from the Great Divide Basin HMA. The BLM said it is conducting the gather in compliance with an April 2013 settlement agreement between the BLM and the Rock Springs Grazing Association that requires the periodic removal of wild horses from these HMAs based on the results of census flights.

Members of the public are welcome to view the daily gather operations, provided that doing so does not jeopardize animal, staff, and observer safety or disrupt gather operations. The BLM will escort the public to gather observation sites located on public lands. Public viewing opportunities were anticipated to begin on Sept. 23. Those interested in participating must notify Tony Brown at 307/352-0215 or agbrown@blm.gov. Participants will meet at the BLM Rock Springs Field Office at 280 Highway 191 North.

Participants must provide their own transportation, water, and food. The BLM recommends footwear and clothing suitable for harsh field conditions and a four-wheel-drive, high-clearance vehicle. Public restrooms will not be available onsite.

While the gather is underway, public lands will remain open unless closures are deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Because of low-flying aircraft, all drone use will be prohibited within 20 miles of the immediate gather area. Occasional road closures might also be necessary to allow horse movement during gather operations.

The Rock Springs Wild Horse Holding Facility will be closed during the gather to provide horses with time to acclimate and receive proper veterinarian health checks. However, the public viewing kiosk will remain open.

Gathered wild horses will be available for adoption through the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program. Animals not adopted will be cared for in long-term pastures, where they retain their “wild” status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act. The BLM said it is committed to managing and protecting these living symbols of the historic and pioneering spirit of the West and will continue to care for and seek good homes for animals that have been removed from the range.

For more information and to view daily reports while the gather is underway, visit blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro/herd-management/gathers-and-removals/wyoming/2017-adobe-town-salt-wells-creek-great-divide-basin-wild-horse-gather.

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