49 Sand Wash Basin Wild Horses Released Back into the Wild

The Colorado BLM and the State of Colorado to ensure that wild horse populations are managed to promote the health of all Colorado’s natural resources after early end to Sand Wash gather

Lakewood, Colo. – On Saturday, the Colorado Bureau of Land Management, working collaboratively with the local Sand Wash Advocate Team, released 25 mares and 24 stallions back to the Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area as part of an on-going fertility control program.

“The health and safety of wild horses on public lands is a top concern for the Bureau of Land Management as we continue to address the impacts of drought and climate change across the West. We are committed to working collaboratively with state and local officials, wild horse advocates and affected local communities on the best path forward to protect healthy wild horses on healthy public lands,” said Jamie Connell, BLM Colorado State Director. “With input from the State of Colorado we were able to end the Sand Wash gather earlier than expected.”

The Colorado BLM gathered approximately 683 wild horses from public lands inside and outside the Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area since operations began September 1. The gather was held in response to on-going severe drought conditions and lack of forage.

The Colorado BLM intends to continue working with the State and the local community to manage and protect the Sand Wash Basin herd, including supporting the fertility-control darting program, building range improvements such as fencing and water infrastructure, and using bait-trap methods to gather smaller groups of animals when removals are necessary.  BLM CO will also look to the State of Colorado to help the BLM with the recruitment and training of volunteers that apply fertility control and engage interested stakeholders and experts in discussing and evaluating collaborative opportunities in managing wild horse herds across the state.

The BLM transported the wild horses removed from the range to an off-range corral facility located in Cañon City, where they will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for adoption. For more information about the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program, and to learn about opportunities to adopt, visit www.BLM.gov/WHB. 


The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Release Date


BLM Colorado State Office


Steven Hall