BLM issues decision on environmental assessment for Sand Wash Basin HMA

CRAIG, Colo. The Bureau of Land Management has issued a decision to reduce herd numbers within the Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area to appropriate management levels. The decision allows the BLM to gather wild horses to the low end of the appropriate management level, ranging from 163 to 362, and maintain herd numbers through subsequent gathers and a variety of treatment options for fertility control over the next ten years.

The decision is based on analysis in the environmental assessment where the BLM determined the gather will not cause significant effects on the environment.

“We are committed to maintaining a healthy population of wild horses on healthy rangelands in the Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area. More than 850 wild horses are in an area where the appropriate management level allows for up to 362,” said Little Snake Field Manager Bruce Sillitoe. “The removal of excess wild horses will reduce impacts to the rangeland, private property, sensitive plants, and other wildlife.”

This action is in accordance with The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 and follows existing decisions in the Little Snake Resource Management Plan of Oct. 2011 as amended Sep. 2015.

Additional project information is available on-line at or at the Little Snake Field Office at 455 Emerson St., Craig, Co 81625.

For information about the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program, visit


This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s 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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Chris Maestas