BLM Plans Warm Springs Wild Horse Gather, Spay Research



BLM Office:

Burns District Office

Media Contact:

Tara Thissell

HINES, Ore. – The Bureau of Land Management Burns District announced today plans to conduct a helicopter gather of wild horses within the Warm Springs Herd Management Area beginning in early October 2018. The gather is being conducted to remove approximately 652 excess wild horses and to initiate research on the effects of spaying wild horse mares and returning them to the range.

The Wild-Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 gives BLM the direction for protecting and overseeing wild horses and burros on public lands. In managing these animals, the BLM works to maintain a thriving ecological balance that supports healthy horses on healthy rangelands.  

The Warm Springs HMA is located approximately 25 air miles southwest of Burns, Oregon, in Harney County. The Appropriate Management Level – the number of horses the range can sustainably support in conjunction with other animals and resource uses – for this area is 96 to 178 horses and the current population is over 800. Water availability is currently inadequate to support part of the herd and BLM has been hauling water to sustain approximately 236 animals until they are able to be gathered.

Animals removed from the range will be transported to Oregon’s Wild Horse Corral Facility in Hines and prepared for adoption into private care or selected for participation in the spay and behavior research study. 

The public is welcome to view the Warm Springs HMA gather and spay procedures. Details on these opportunities, as well as the gather itself, are available on the 2018 Warm Springs Gather web site, here:

The supporting planning documents for the Warm Springs HMA gather and Spay Feasibility and On-range Behavioral Outcomes Assessment are available on the BLM’s ePlanning web site at

The gather will likely last through mid-October 2018, though exact start and end dates will be determined by the contractor’s availability. 

For more information, contact Tara Thissell at or (541) 573-4519.

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.