BLM Updates 2012 Fall/Winter Wild Horse Gather Schedule

BLM Updates 2012 Fall/Winter Wild Horse Gather Schedule

Changes from the previous gather schedule reflect a reprioritizing of gathers based on drought and, in some cases, animal conditions that have been affected by diminishing forage and water.

Photo: Bureau of Land Management

On Dec. 7 the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced updates to its tentative fall/winter schedule for gathering wild horses and burros from overpopulated herds on drought-stricken Western public rangelands. Changes from the previous gather schedule reflect a reprioritizing of gathers based on drought and, in some cases, animal conditions that have been affected by diminishing forage and water. The gathers and removals are needed to bring herd sizes into balance with other rangeland resources and uses, as required by federal law.

Updates to the tentative gather schedule include:

  • The bait-trapping gather of the Jarita Mesa Wild Horse Territory in New Mexico (under Forest Service management) is cancelled because the animals are not in immediate declining condition.
  • The number of horses to be removed during the bait-trapping gather of Murderers Creek Herd Management Area (HMA)/Wild Horse Territory in Oregon (under both BLM and Forest Service management) has been raised from 105 to 160. The increase is a result of legal issues relating to an endangered fish species.
  • The gather of Maverick-Medicine HMAs in Nevada is cancelled because the animals are not in immediate declining condition.
  • The gather of Cedar Mountain HMA in Utah is cancelled because the animals are not in immediate declining condition.
  • The number of horses removed during the gather of the Wassuk HMA in Nevada was increased from 250 to 450 because of very poor animal condition resulting from lack of forage.
  • The number of horses removed during the gather of the Challis HMA was increased from 137 to 174 because of court order.
  • A bait-trapping gather of the Chloride HMA in Utah was added to remove 50 head because animals had moved outside the HMA and onto private land.
  • The horse removal number of the Little Owyhee HMA was increased from 544 to 800 because of severely limited water sources.
  • The gather of Snowstorm Mountains HMA in Nevada is cancelled because the animals are not in immediate declining condition.
  • The gather of Owyhee HMA in Nevada will seek to remove 50, rather than 11, horses because of severely limited water sources.
  • The gather at Rock Creek HMA in Wyoming reduced its removal numbers from 580 to 400 to focus on areas of diminishing available forage and water sources. PZP-22 fertility-control treatment of mares increased from 115 to 150.
  • The removal number for the gather at the Jicarilla Wild Horse Territory in New Mexico was reduced from 91 to 43 because of limited holding space.

The BLM is also nearing full capacity at its short-term holding corrals and long-term holding pastures, thus constraining the agency's ability to remove as many of the animals necessary to reach appropriate management levels in HMAs. Because of these holding limits, the BLM continues to encourage the public to consider adopting a wild horse or burro. See adoption schedule information online or e-mail the BLM at wildhorse@blm.gov or call 866/4MUSTANGS (866/468-7826).

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