BLM to start gathering wild horses on 5 HMAs in southwest Wyoming

BLM Office:

High Desert District Office


High Desert DO

Media Contact:

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. – In support of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) mission to sustainably manage wild horses and burros on public rangelands, the BLM Rock Springs and Rawlins field offices plan to begin gathering wild horses on or after October 7, from the Great Divide Basin, Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek, White Mountain and Little Colorado Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in southwestern Wyoming. The gather is part of the BLM’s approach to managing and protecting healthy wild horses on healthy public rangelands in balance with available water, forage, and other authorized uses of the land.

The BLM estimates the wild horse population across the five HMAs to be approximately 5,105, which is more than double the combined appropriate management level of 1,550-2,145 horses. The gather is being conducted to address the overpopulation on the HMAs, prevent deterioration of the rangeland due to the overpopulation, remove horses from private lands and areas not designated for their long-term use, and comply with the 2013 Consent Decree between the Rock Springs Grazing Association and the BLM.

The BLM plans to gather approximately 4,300 horses of which about 3,500 will be removed and 800 will be returned to the range. Any mare returned to an HMA will be treated with temporary fertility control. By managing wild horses at appropriate levels, the BLM can better maintain herd and rangeland health and reduce trespass onto private land and highways. Additional information and daily gather reports will be available at

While the gather is underway, public lands will remain open unless closures are deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Because of low-flying aircraft, all drone use will be prohibited within 20 miles of the immediate gather area. Occasional road closures may also be necessary to permit movement of wild horses during gather operations.

Opportunities are available for the public to observe gather operations, provided that doing so does not jeopardize the safety of the animals, staff, observers, or disrupt gather operations. The BLM will escort the public to gather observation sites located on public lands. Participants must provide their own transportation, water and food. The BLM recommends a four-wheel drive, high clearance vehicle. Those interested in observing the gather must notify Brad Purdy at or 307-775-6328.

Wild horses that are removed will be checked by a veterinarian and made 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 or contact the national information center at 866-486-7826 or

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.