Kiger and Riddle Mountain Wild Horse Gather

The Kiger and Riddle Mountain Herd Management Areas (HMAs) lay south of Burns, Oregon, about 50 miles and are bordered by Kiger Gorge on the west and East Steens Road on the east. The "Kiger" horses, as they are commonly known, have had an almost 100 percent adoption rate since 1986. The respective herd sizes are 33 head for Riddle HMA and 51 for the Kiger HMA. Due to the small herd size, popularity, and adoptability, PZP contraceptives will not be considered for these herds.

Details of Gather

Our overall goal is for the range to achieve or maintain a thriving natural ecological balance.

Gather Stats
Animals Gathered Animal Deaths
1 (gather related),
1 (non-gather related)
(see "gather reports" for details)

The Proposed Action is to gather approximately 210 wild horses within and immediately outside both HMAs and remove approximately 120 excess wild horses. Approximately 87 wild horses would be returned to the HMAs at completion of the gather, leaving a post gather population of approximately 87 wild horses (53 in Kiger, 34 in Riddle Mountain) which is just above the lower level of the AML.

It is anticipated two capture sites (traps) will be used to capture wild horses from the HMAs. Trap site corrals will typically be approximately 800 square feet. With secondary disturbance areas such as trap wings, total surface disturbance will be approximately 2,400 square feet (0.05-acre) per trap site. Trap wing configuration will vary, depending on terrain and materials. Trap sites will be selected during the gather operations. Traps are built as close to the horses' location as possible.

All capture and handling activities, including capture site selections, will be conducted in accordance with Standard Operating Procedures described in Appendix A of the EA.

Public/Media Gather Viewing Opportunities

Kiger Gather
Kiger Horse.
Photo courtesty of Bob Petit.

The public is welcome to attend the Kiger and Riddle Mountain wild horse gather and must read the Know Before You Go (PDF) information before visiting. Observation will be held daily, on a first come, first served basis, with a maximum number of 10 people attending each day. You must check in, in person, individually, with the BLM official at the meeting site to be considered. You may attend multiple, consecutive observation days as long as you are within the first come, first served maximum.

Gather dates are tentatively scheduled for July 7-16, 2011. The dates are subject to change depending upon weather and gather operations. Some days of the gather may not provide a viewing opportunity at the capture site, due to variable circumstances such as moving the trap location (not gathering), no safe area to view activity or disguise vehicles. Notice on the days where no viewing opportunity exists will likely be given on short notice -- perhaps the day before or the morning of the gather operation.

Observers will be led to and from the gather site by BLM employees. Personal, high clearance, 4-wheel drive vehicles are required. Access to and distance from the capture site location will be determined jointly by the Contractor and the agency's Contracting Officer's Representative prior to gather operations. Safety of the horses, crew and public, is our top priority.

For more information and to find the progress of the gather and/or whether or not a viewing opportunity exists each day, first check our Social Media sites. Click on the Facebook or Twitter icon below—you do not need to have an account on these sites to view the content. You may also call Tara Martinak, Burns District BLM Public Affairs Specialist, at 541-573-4519 or email tmartina@blm.gov.

Oregon's Wild Horse Corral Facility is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. for viewing and animal observation as well.


Horses removed from the Kiger and Riddle Herd Management Areas will be available for adoption from Oregon's Wild Horse Corral Facility in Hines at a competitive bid adoption event on October 6-9, 2011.

No other horse in America is quite like the Kiger Mustang found on Steens Mountain in southeastern Oregon. Most wild horses are of mixed influence and characteristics while the Kiger Mustangs possess many characteristics of the original Spanish Mustang. For more detailed information on the uniqueness of Kiger Mustangs, click here.

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