BLM to conduct wild horse bait trap gather in Saylor Creek Herd Management Area


Bureau of Land Management

Media Contact:

Heather Tiel-Nelson

TWIN FALLS, Idaho –The BLM Jarbidge Field Office will begin a wild horse gather operation in the Saylor Creek Wild Horse Herd Management Area (HMA), 15 miles south of Glenns Ferry. The BLM will conduct gather operations for up to four months, using temporary water and bait traps consisting of a series of corral panels stocked with water and hay/mineral. No helicopters will be used in the gather.

The BLM plans to gather 131 wild horses and remove 81 horses to maintain the Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 50 horses within the HMA. The purpose of the gather is to reduce the overpopulation of wild horses, preventing further degradation of public lands by balancing herd size with what the land can support.

A recent census count of the Saylor Creek wild horse herd showed 131 horses—two and a half times the target population level of 50 horses. The management number is based on range conditions, water availability and acreage comparisons, as well as seasonal movement during the summer and drier winter months. The management objective is to maintain a 50-50 ratio of studs to mares. All mares returned to the range to maintain the AML of 50 horses will be treated with the fertility control vaccine GonaCon to reduce foaling rates and overall population growth.

The BLM’s top priority is to conduct safe, efficient and successful wild horse gather operations, while ensuring humane care and treatment of all animals gathered. The BLM will use the best available science and handling practices for wild horses, meeting overall gather goals and objectives in accordance with the Bureau’s Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy. 

Because of the nature of the bait and water trap method, wild horses are reluctant to approach the trap site when there is too much activity. Therefore, only essential gather operation personnel will be allowed at the trap site during operations.

All horses identified for removal will be transported to the Boise Wild Horse Corrals, where they will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for the BLM’s wild horse and burro Adoption and Sale Program. For information on how to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit

The BLM is conducting the gather under the Saylor Creek Herd Management Area Wild Horse Bait and Water Trap Gather Environmental Assessment signed on Oct. 2, 2019. Access the Decision Record and determination of National Environmental Policy Act adequacy at  

Gather reports and additional information will be posted on the BLM website at:

For more information, contact Wild Horse and Burro Specialist Katie Shewmaker (208) 736-2369 or

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.