Wild horse bait/water trap gather in Challis Wild Horse Herd Management Area

CHALLIS, Idaho –The BLM Challis Field Office is conducting a wild horse gather operation in the Challis Wild Horse Herd Management Area (CHMA), just south of Challis. The BLM is using temporary water and bait traps consisting of a series of corral panels stocked with water and hay/mineral; no helicopters will be used.  

The BLM plans to gather approximately 70 wild horses and remove approximately 39 to maintain populations within the Appropriate Management Level of 185-253 horses on the HMA. The gather could last up to six months. The purpose of the gather is to maintain the population of wild horses, selectively remove a portion of horses for placement into the adoption program, capture, treat, and release horses for application of fertility treatment.

Following the November 2019 CHMA drive trap gather, 185 wild horses remained on the CHMA.  After two foaling seasons, the Challis Field Office estimates a current population of approximately 224 animals. The Decision Record issued in August of 2019 authorized maintenance bait/water trap gathers and stated “Selecting the proposed action allows BLM to respond to the issue of excess wild horses within the CHMA using various tools to reduce the populations to within AML and maintain that level over time.”    

The BLM’s priority is to conduct safe, efficient, and successful wild horse gather operations while ensuring humane care and treatment of all animals gathered. The BLM will use the best available science and handling practices for wild horses while meeting overall gather goals and objectives in accordance with the Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy.  

 Because of the nature of the bait and water trap method, wild horses are reluctant to approach the trap site when there is too much activity; therefore, only essential gather operation personnel will be allowed at the trap site during operations. 

 All horses identified for removal will be transported to the Challis Off-Range Wild Horse Corrals, where they will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for the BLM’s wild horse and burro Adoption and Sale Program. For information on how to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit www.blm.gov/whb

 The BLM is conducting the gather under the Challis Wild Horse Herd Management Area Population Management Plan Environmental Assessment. The Decision Record and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) were signed on August 21, 2019. Access the Decision Record, FONSI, and Environmental Assessment at https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/119817/510.   

 Gather reports and additional information will be posted on the BLM website at https://on.doi.gov/3EYWFcm

 For more information, contact Wild Horse and Burro Specialist Kevin Lloyd (208) 879-6209 or klloyd@blm.gov.   

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. 

Release Date




Idaho Falls District Office


Heather Tiel-Nelson