BLM releases decision on wild horse herd plan and gather near Worland
WORLAND, Wyo. – The Bureau of Land Management Worland Field Office has released a decision record that approves two management actions in the Fifteenmile Wild Horse Herd Management Area (HMA), located approximately 35 miles northwest of Worland in Washakie, Big Horn and Park counties. This decision demonstrates the BLM’s commitment to maintaining healthy wild horses on healthy, productive public rangelands.
The decision approves an update to the Fifteenmile HMA Plan, which will guide future management of the HMA and the wild horses within it for the next several years. The update includes adjustments to wild horse herd and habitat monitoring objectives.
The decision also approves a gather and removal of excess wild horses in the HMA, tentatively scheduled to occur in fall 2019. The HMA’s appropriate management level (AML) is 100–230 wild horses, as determined in the HMA plan update. The AML is the point at which the wild horse population is consistent with the land’s capacity to support it and other mandated uses of those lands. Based on recent aerial surveys, the BLM estimates that the population is approaching 700 horses, more than three times the AML.
The gather operation will include removing wild horses to return the population to the low range of the AML. Horses that have moved outside the HMA boundary, including onto private and state lands, will be removed. Wild horses that are removed will be available for adoption to qualified applicants. To learn more about the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program and adopting a Wyoming wild horse, visit BLM.GOV/WHB or contact the national information center at 866-468-7826 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The environmental assessment, finding of no significant impact and decision record are available by visiting the BLM website at: http://go.usa.gov/xQrRP. The decision is subject to administrative review through the appeal process, which is outlined in the decision record.
Wild horses essentially have no natural predators, resulting in a rapid increase in population. If not appropriately managed, herds double in size every four to five years. To maintain wild horses in good physical condition and protect the health of public land, the BLM must manage their population growth.
For more information, visit http://go.usa.gov/xQrRP or contact BLM Wild Horse and Burro Specialist Cam Henrichsen at (307) 347-5100.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in the 11 Western states and Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals.