2016 Cold Springs Wild Horse Gather
The Cold Springs Herd Management Area (HMA) is approximately 25 miles southwest of Harper, Oregon. The HMA contains nearly 30,000 acres of BLM managed land and nearly 3,000 acres of interspersed private lands. AML in the Cold Springs HMA was established for 75-150 wild horses. A population inventory flight in June 2016 counted 258 adult horses and 77 foals.
Details of Gather
Our overall goal is to maintain a thriving ecological balance of the Cold Springs HMA, surrounding rangelands, and to preserve the health and well-being of the Cold Springs herd. The horses will be gathered using a bait-trap method which will draw horses to a predetermined trap site stocked with food and water. Trapping operations could take anywhere from one week to several months depending on the amount of animals to trap, weather conditions, or other considerations. Operations will be conducted either by contract or BLM personnel.
This gather proposes to gather 150 horses, remove 100, and apply approved fertility control treatment to approximately 25 mares to be returned to the HMA. This will result in 100 horses removed from the HMA beginning September 15, leaving approximately 235 adult horses and foals in the HMA. This will result in the Fiscal Year 2017 final HMA population being approximately 150 percent of AML based on current estimates.
COLD SPRINGS HERD MANAGEMENT AREA: TOTAL GATHER STATS
|Foals - 21
Mares - 40
Stallions - 46
Total horses gathered: 107
|Notes: Many of the gathered horses are thin with body scores of 2 to 3.
Body conditions improved to scores of 3-4 on horses between 9/20 - 9/21.
A 20+ year old stud was euthanized due to a preexisting hip injury. A 15 year old stud was euthanized due to a club foot.
The purpose of the gather is to return and maintain the wild horse population within the established AML on Cold Springs HMA, protect rangeland resources from deterioration associated with overpopulation, and restore a natural ecological balance and multiple use relationship on public lands in the area consistent with the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971. Overpopulation within the HMA is jeopardizing the health of surrounding rangelands, wetlands, wildlife habitat and ultimately, the health and well-being of the horses themselves.
Captured wild horses are planned to be released back to the HMA in order to maintain a diverse age structure and sex ratio. Additionally, released horses will be selected to preserve herd characteristics, in the case of the Cold Springs herd, common colors of grey, sorrel, buckskins bay, brown, black and red roan. Maximum effort will be undertaken to return released horses to the same general area they were gathered.
Fertility control treatments will be implemented for this gather because of the need to reduce population growth. Approximately 25 mares that are two years of age or older will be returned to the HMA after receiving PZP fertility treatment.
All capture and handling activities, including capture site selections, will be conducted in accordance within the guidelines identified within the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation which can be found here: http://go.usa.gov/xDYjH.
Public/Media Gather Viewing Opportunities
Bait/water trap gathers are not conducive to capture site viewing opportunities. However, the BLM will host public viewing days at temporary holding corrals near the capture site as horses are gathered and sorted.
Anyone interested in these viewing opportunities must read the Field Observation Protocol (PDF) information before visiting. A maximum number of 15 observers may attend on public viewing days.
If you are interested in observing the gather, you must contact Larry Moore at the BLM Vale District Office (firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-473-6218) to have your name added to the viewing list. Observation will be offered in order of request. If for some reason you are not able to attend, please notify Mr. Moore as soon as possible so that your slot can be offered to the next person.
Horses are captured at temporary trap sites located within or adjacent to the HMA and then moved to a larger temporary holding facility. At the holding facility horses are sorted by mares, studs, and foals to be transported by semi-truck to the Oregon Adoption facility near Burns/Hines OR. They will be available for adoption later in the year. For viewing, the public may visit the Corral Facility anytime between regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.