The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has issued its decision on a proposed wild horse gather in Wyoming’s Red Desert Wild Horse Herd Management Area Complex.
The BLM Rawlins and Lander field offices will gather and remove wild horses at a future date that has yet to be determined. The agency said the action will help return populations to within appropriate management levels, ensure long-term viability of sage-grouse populations within the complex, and help the BLM administer the PZP-22 fertility control vaccine to mares that will be returned to the complex.
The Red Desert Complex—which includes the Antelope Hills, Crooks Mountain, Green Mountain, Lost Creek, and Stewart Creek herd management areas—is located in Sweetwater, Carbon, Fremont, and Natrona counties west and south of Wyoming Highway 287.
Based on recent aerial surveys, the BLM estimates that the Red Desert Complex's population is approaching 3,000 horses; it has set the appropriate management level for the complex at less than 724 horses. In addition, the horses are moving outside of their established herd management areas and causing impacts in areas not identified for their management, the agency said.
The environmental assessment, finding of no significant impact, and decision record are available on the BLM website at bit.ly/Red_Desert_Gather. The decision is subject to administrative review through the appeal process, which is outlined in the decision record.
The BLM said wild horse herd sizes can double every four to five years. To maintain wild horses in good physical condition and protect the health of public land, the BLM must manage their population growth, it said.
Wild horses that are removed will be available for adoption to qualified applicants. To learn more about the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program and adopting a Wyoming wild horse, visit blm.gov/whb or contact the national information center at 866/468-7826 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the future Red Desert wild horse gather, contact Tim Novotny at 307/328-4200 or Clay Stott at 307/332-8400.