BLM to begin wild horse gather near Worland next week
October 10, 2019
WORLAND – The Bureau of Land Management announced last week that it will conduct a wild horse gather operation in the Fifteenmile Wild Horse Herd Management Area (HMA) on or about next Thursday, Oct. 17.
This operation is in line with the BLM’s commitment to maintaining healthy wild horses on healthy, productive public rangelands.
The Fifteenmile HMA is located approximately 35 miles northwest of Worland, Wyoming, in Washakie, Big Horn and Park counties. Based on recent aerial surveys, the BLM estimates that the HMA’s population is approximately 700 horses, while the appropriate management level (AML) is 100–230 horses. In addition, the horses are moving outside of the established HMA into areas not identified for their management.
The BLM Worland Field Office will remove approximately 600 wild horses to return the population to the low range of the AML. Horses that have moved outside the HMA boundary, including onto private and state lands, will be removed.
The BLM uses a federal contractor to gather wild horses from HMAs where the BLM has
determined excess animals exist. The contractor uses a helicopter to locate and herd horses toward a set of corrals. The helicopter is assisted by a ground crew and a domesticated horse to lead the gathered horses into the corrals. If needed, the ground crew may assist the helicopter by roping the horses from horseback.
According to the BLM gather website, “the BLM takes very seriously the humane treatment of wild horses and burros during gather operations. Helicopters have been shown to be the most humane method to gather horses.”
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. Temporary road closures may also be necessary to permit movement of wild horses during gather operations.
Members of the public are welcome to view the daily gather operations, provided that doing so does not jeopardize the safety of the animals, staff and observers, or disrupt gather operations. The BLM will escort the public to gather observation sites located on public lands.
Observers must provide their own transportation—the BLM recommends a four-wheel drive, high clearance vehicle. Those interested in viewing the gather must notify Sarah Beckwith at [email protected] or (307) 347-5207.
The BLM will transport all wild horses removed from the range to BLM off range corrals in Rock Springs, or other locations. The horses will be freeze branded, vaccinated, dewormed and given a Coggins test. The corrals receiving the horses from the gathers will not be taking requests from the public to hold specific horses.
Some of the horses will be taken to the Wyoming Honor Farm in Riverton or the Mantle Adoption and Training Facility in Wheatland for gentling before being made available for adoption.
Wild horses that are removed will be available for adoption to qualified applicants through the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program.
Animals not adopted will be cared for in off-range pastures, where they retain their “wild” status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act.
To learn more about the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program and adopting a Wyoming wild horse, visit http://www.blm.gov/whb or contact the national information center at (866) 468-7826 or [email protected]
For more information about the Fifteenmile gather and to view daily reports once the gather is underway, visit http://www.blm.gov/wyoming/2019-fifteenmile-gather or contact Cam Henrichsen at (307) 347-5100.