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News.bytes Extra, issue 476

Wild horse program release to manage Twin Peaks herd

Wild horse and burro program  managers in the BLM's Eagle Lake Field Office finally got a break from snowy, rainy spring weather last week, and were able to complete a long-planned release of wild horses, mules and a burro into the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area.

two colts gallop after mares
Two mares and their young colts gallop through the brush in the Skedaddle-Dry Valley Home Range east of Susanville seconds after being released from their trailer.  The colts were born at the BLM Litchfield Corrals after their mothers were rounded up in last summer's Twin Peaks gather.

a group of mules runs over the ground
A group of just-released mules heads straight for the rocky hills of the Twin Peaks North Home Range.

one horse runs past while another looks at the camera
An impressive stallion takes a final glance back before heading out into the Observation North Home Range.

In all, the BLM released 11 mules, four mares, four stallions two foals and a burro into five individual home ranges.

The mare release will achieve the targeted sex ratio of 60 percent stallions and 40 percent mares in the Skedaddle-Dry Valley Home Range.  The stallions have the saddle horse conformation and size that will maintain the characteristics of the Twin Peaks wild herd.  The mules and burro are being released because they are over adoption age.

Based on observations in three days of post gather flights conducted last October, the mustang population in the herd management area along the northeast California-northwest Nevada border  is about 790 animals, while the wild burro population is about 160.  These totals are slightly above the appropriate management levels of 448-758 horses and 72-116 burros.

April 8, 2011

Pat Farris, BLM rangeland management specialist
Jeff Fontana, BLM Northern California public affairs

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 476
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Last updated: 04-12-2011