Bureau of Land Management plans wild horse gather in Socorro


Bureau of Land Management

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Socorro Field Office

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Photo of Horses on the Bordo Atravesado Herd Management Area

SOCORRO, N.M.Beginning the week of Dec. 4, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Socorro Field Office will begin a wild horse gather on BLM lands on the Bordo Atravesado Herd Management Area, located near Socorro, N.M. The BLM will conduct gather operations using water to attract animals into existing corrals in the area. No helicopters will be used.

As of March 2023, the BLM estimated there were approximately 230 wild horses within and outside the herd management area, which is almost four times the number that is healthy for the land and the herd. The purpose of the gather is to return the population to its appropriate management level while maintaining genetic diversity; selectively remove a portion of horses for placement into the adoption program; and capture, treat and release horses for application of fertility treatment.

“It is BLM’s priority to conduct safe, efficient and successful wild horse and burro gather operations while ensuring humane care and treatment of all animals gathered,” said Socorro Field Manager Mark Mathews. “The BLM and its contractors are committed to using the best available science and handling practices for wild horses while meeting overall gather goals and objectives in accordance with the Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program.”

All animals identified for removal will be placed into the BLM Wild Horse and Burro adoption program. Horses will be checked and monitored by a veterinarian and BLM staff and made ready for adoption to qualified homes.

Because of the nature of the water gathering method, wild horses are reluctant to approach the site when there is too much activity. Therefore, only essential gather operation personnel will be present at the site during operations.

The BLM is conducting the gather under the DOI-BLM-NM-A020-2022-0014-EA, Bordo Atravesado HMA Wild Horse Gather Plan decision signed on October 26, 2022, after a 30-day public review and comment period. Access to the Decision Record is at https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2020697/510.

Once operations begin, gather reports and additional information will be posted on BLM’s website at: https://www.blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro/herd-management/gathers-and-removals/new-mexico/2023-bordo-atravesado.

For more information, contact the BLM Socorro Field Office at (575) 835-0412.

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.