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Release Date: 09/19/11
Contacts: Shannon Borders, (970) 240-5399    

BLM Finishes Spring Creek Wild Horse Gather

DOLORES, Colo. – On Sunday, Sept. 18, the Bureau of Land Management finished wild horse gather operations in the Spring Creek Basin Wild Horse Management Area. The staff, contractors and volunteers with the Disappointment Wild Bunch gathered 53 horses.

“The horses were gathered from the Spring Creek Basin to ensure horses are in balance with available forage, water and habitat in conjunction with restoring the herd to the appropriate management levels,” said Connie Clementson, BLM incident commander for gather operations.

Once the horses were gathered they were evaluated by an Animal Plant Health Inspection Service veterinarian for health concerns, and all of the horses were in good condition and injury free.  After the examination, horses were selected and returned to the HMA to ensure the long-term management and genetic diversity of the herd. Of those gathered two foals, five mares and six studs were released back into the HMA.  Released mares would be given a primer dose of native Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP) one year immunocontraceptive vaccine to control fertility as defined in the gather environmental assessment.

One horse was euthanized after the veterinarian determined the horse broke its neck when it ran into a gate. Additionally, one foal was found by BLM law enforcement abandoned. The helicopter pilot flew throughout the HMA looking for the foal’s mother, but was unable to locate the mare. Fran Ackley, BLM wild horse and burro state lead, approved a local wild horse advocate to adopt the foal.

The remaining horses were transported to Cortez and Canyon City for adoption and short term holding. Interested individuals can preview the horses on Friday, Sept. 23 from 5-7 p.m. and on Saturday, Sept. 24 from 8-10 a.m. at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds in Cortez.  During the Friday preview, local wild horse adopter Emily Rapp will provide a mustang training demonstration. Adopters must be approved by 10 a.m. on Saturday in order to receive a bid card. For more information and the adoption application, go to

The BLM protects, controls and manages wild horses and burros under provisions of the Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The law recognizes the animals as "living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West," and requires that they be managed as part of a "thriving natural ecological balance on the range."    

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

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Last updated: 10-03-2011