BLM to gather and remove excess wild horses from Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area

CRAIG, Colo. – The Little Snake Field Office plans to gather and remove approximately 50 excess wild horses from Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public lands and private lands within and adjacent to the Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area (HMA) in Moffat County.

The BLM is responding to written requests from two private landowners to remove wild horses from private property. Under the Wild Horse and Burro Act, the BLM is required to remove wild horses from private lands when requested in writing. Approximately 20 wild horses will be gathered and removed from private lands in Moffat County near the Sand Wash Basin HMA and Adobe Town HMA located to the north in Wyoming.

At the same time, the BLM plans to remove approximately 30 excess wild horses from BLM public lands along eight miles of the Sand Wash Basin HMA’s southern boundary, within two miles of Colorado Highway 318. The purpose of this gather is to reduce the risk of wild horse/vehicle collisions, for the safety of the wild horses and members of the public travelling on the highway.

“We are committed to managing healthy wild horses on healthy rangelands, while being a good neighbor,” said Little Snake Field Manager Bruce Sillitoe. “Prolonged drought conditions have increased wild horse movement in search of water and vegetation resources, impacting both public and private lands.”

All of the excess wild horses will be gathered using approved capture techniques, primarily bait trapping. The current population of the Sand Wash Basin herd is estimated to be 828 head of wild horses, but the Appropriate Management Level is between 163 and 362 wild horses. For more information, contact Maribeth Pecotte, 970-724-3027.

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.

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Little Snake Field Office


Maribeth Pecotte