The BLM Cody Field Office has partnered with FOAL since the non-profit group formed in 2005. Together, they effectively manage the herd, coordinate and cooperate on opportunities for public education, and enhance habitat for all creatures living within the McCullough Peaks HMA.
Annual field darting with the fertility control vaccine porcine zona pellucida (PZP) has been used in the McCullough Peaks herd since 2011, where it successfully lowers horse birth rates.
“The BLM’s partnership with FOAL is vital to sustainably managing the McCullough Peaks herd, as well as to maintaining healthy, productive public rangelands for wildlife and livestock that share the herd management area,” said BLM Cody Field Manager Cade Powell.
To date, FOAL has contributed more than $45,000 in PZP and the darting supplies needed to administer it. The BLM and FOAL dart 50–80 mares annually, resulting in a birth rate of only 9 foals each year, on average, since 2011. An average of 30 foals were born in years prior to the annual field darting.
The fertility control program, coupled with occasional bait trap removals and adoptions, has enabled the BLM to keep the wild horse population near its appropriate management level while improving rangeland health conditions.
FOAL also contributes substantially each year for reservoir cleaning and water development projects within the HMA.