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South Steens Wild Horse Gather (Bait/Water Trap) Oregon/Washington BLM

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT

South Steens Wild Horse Gather (Bait/Water Trap)

Wild Horse and Burro

The South Steens Herd Management Level (HMA) is located south of Frenchglen, Oregon, in southern Harney County. The Appropriate Management Level (AML)—the number of horses the range can sustainably support in conjunction with other animals and resource uses—for this area is 159 to 304 horses, and the current population is over 500.

Goal of Gathers

Our overall goal is for the range to achieve or maintain a thriving natural ecological balance. Heavy to severe wild horse grazing jeopardizes the health of rangelands, wetlands, wildlife habitats, and ultimately animal health and condition. Although the South Steens gathers will not immediately return the herd to within AML, it will reduce resource impacts and briefly cut reproduction rates. After removing 100 horses in the first gather (concluded August 29, 2016), and another 100 projected from the second gather (starts November 7, 2016), there will still be over 400 horses remaining in the HMA.

Gather Reports/Statistics

Gather 1: Gather operations began August 17, 2016. The objective was to capture 200 horses, selectively remove for adoption 100 horses, and apply a fertility vaccine to up to 40 mares that will be returned to the range. The gather concluded on August 29, 2016 with 208 horses captured.

Gather 2: Gather operations began November 7, 2016. The objective is to selectively remove for adoption 100 horses.

8/29/2016 - FINAL DAY
Horses gathered: 16
Foals - 4
Mares - 4
Stallions - 8
Horses shipped: 35
Cumulative stats: 208 gathered; 168 shipped

Earlier stats - Click to open/close

8/18/2016
Horses gathered: 11
Foals - 2
Mares - 5
Stallions - 4
Horses shipped: 0
8/19/2016
Horses gathered: 3
Foals - 0
Mares - 0
Stallions - 3
Horses shipped: 9
8/20/2016
Horses gathered: 33
Foals - 4
Mares - 16
Stallions - 13
*4 people in attendance at temporary holding site observation
Horses shipped: 0
8/21/2016
Horses gathered: 27
Foals - 3
Mares - 13
Stallions - 11
Horses shipped: 0
8/22/2016
Horses gathered: 5
Foals - 0
Mares - 2
Stallions - 3
Horses shipped: 54
8/23/2016
Horses gathered: 31
Foals - 4
Mares - 15
Stallions - 12
*These horses were caught late in the evening on August 22.
Horses shipped: 23
8/24/2016
Horses gathered: 31
Foals - 5
Mares - 15
Stallions - 11
*These horses were caught late in the evening on August 23.
Horses shipped: 24
8/25/2016
Horses gathered: 18
Foals - 2
Mares - 6
Stallions - 10
Horses shipped: 12
8/26/2016
Horses gathered: 12
Foals - 2
Mares - 3
Stallions - 7
Horses shipped: 11
8/27/2016
Horses gathered: 3
Foals - 0
Mares - 2
Stallions - 1
Horses shipped: 0
8/28/2016
Horses gathered: 18
Foals - 3
Mares - 10
Stallions - 5
Horses shipped: 0

Adoption

Wild Horse and Burro

Animals selected for removal from the range will be transported to Oregon's Wild Horse Corral Facility in Hines to be prepared for adoption. The first opportunity to adopt a South Steens horse from these gathers will be in January 2017, online, at www.blm.gov/adoptahorse. 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. Federal holidays may fall during the regular work week. We recommend calling ahead to ensure the facility will be open during your visit.

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.

Gather 1: A public viewing opportunity at the gather temporary holding facility was held Saturday, August 20, 2016.

Gather 2: Viewing date To Be Announced.

Those interested shall:

  • Provide personal transportation (carpooling among viewers is a great idea!) and personal necessities for a day in the field (food, water, shade, camera, binoculars, etc.).
  • Meet at the Frenchglen Hotel in Frenchglen, Oregon at 8:00 a.m. for a brief "Know Before You Go" discussion with BLM Public Affairs Specialist Tara Thissell.
  • Caravan with Thissell from the Frenchglen Hotel to the temporary holding facility for viewing. The drive is approximately 7-8 miles of pavement and 1/2 - 1 mile of well maintained gravel. Passenger cars are suitable.
  • Park a short distance away from the temporary holding facility and then walk approximately 50 yards to the viewing area.

Viewing is open to the public. "Reservations" are not necessary as we will accommodate anyone interested in attending. We will stay at the holding area for 1-3 hours, depending on the collective desires of the group. Departure for a return caravan to Frenchglen/Burns will be no later than 1:00 p.m.

With any questions regarding viewing opportunities at the South Steens temporary holding facility, please contact Tara Thissell at tthissell@blm.gov or 541-573-4519.

Additional viewing opportunities and twice per week gather reports will be shared on this page.

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