The Bureau of Land Management today 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 re-prioritizing of gathers based on drought and, in some cases, animal conditions that have been affected by diminishing forage and water across the West. The gathers and removals are needed to bring herd sizes into balance with other rangeland resources and uses, as required by Federal law.
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 Herd Management Areas. Because of these holding limits, the BLM continues to encourage the public to consider adopting a wild horse or burro. See adoption schedule information at http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbprogram/adoption_program/schedule.html or e-mail the BLM at [email protected] or call 866-4MUSTANGS (866-468-7826).
Updates to the tentative gather schedule, posted at http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbprogram/herd_management/tentative_gather_schedule.html, 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/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 Herd Management Areas in Nevada is cancelled because the animals are not in immediate declining condition.
• The gather of Cedar Mountain Herd Management Area in Utah is cancelled because the animals are not in immediate declining condition.
• The number of horses removed during the gather of the Wassuk Herd Management Area 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 Herd Management Area was increased from 137 to 174 because of court order.
• A bait-trapping gather of the Chloride Herd Management Area 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 Herd Management Area was increased from 544 to 800 because of severely limited water sources.
• The gather of Snowstorm Mountains Herd Management Area in Nevada is cancelled because the animals are not in immediate declining condition.
• The gather of Owyhee Herd Management Area in Nevada will seek to remove 50, rather than 11, horses because of severely limited water sources.
• The gather at Rock Creek Herd Management Area 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.