BLM proposes wild horse gathers and fertility control treatments for the Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area

MEEKER, Colo.As part of its mission to manage public lands for multiple uses, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) White River Field Office proposes to remove wild horses from areas inside of the Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area (PEDHMA) in northwestern Colorado in order to reduce herd numbers to an Appropriate Management Level (AML).

The BLM currently estimates there are 838 wild horses inside the PEDHMA, which includes about 190,000 acres east of Colorado Highway 139, south of Colorado Highway 64 and west of Colorado Highway 13. The BLM should be managing the area for an AML of between 135-235 wild horses. An estimated 438 wild horses also live outside the HMA, where the AML is zero wild horses.

“We are committed to maintaining a healthy population of wild horses in the Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area as well as being a good neighbor to the communities we serve. We are currently supporting more than 1,200 wild horses in areas where the appropriate management level allows for up to 235,” said White River Field Manager Kent Walter. “The removal of excess wild horses over the next few years will reduce impacts to private property and promote healthy rangelands.”

The BLM has released an environmental assessment (EA) for public review and comment. It analyzes wild horse removals inside the PEDHMA, that could occur over the next several years, that may use helicopters and/or bait trapping. Fertility control treatments would also be introduced to help reduce annual population increases, without which, herd numbers increase by approximately 20 percent each year in the PEDHMA. The EA is available at https://go.usa.gov/x7fcQ. Public comments will need to be submitted by December 23, 2020. Written comments can be mailed to the White River Field Office 220 East Market St., Meeker, CO 81641.

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or any other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While individuals may request BLM to withhold personal identifying information from public view, the BLM cannot guarantee it will be able to do so.

For information about the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program, visit https://www.blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro.

-BLM-

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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