2015 SODA FIRE EMERGENCY WILD HORSE GATHER
8/27/15 - 9/04/15
Purpose of Gather:
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Owyhee Field Office conducted an emergency wild horse gather within the Sands Basin, Hardtrigger and Black Mountain herd management areas (HMAs) as a means to maintain the health of the herds and protect rangelands, which were impacted by the 2015 Soda Fire.
Details of Gather:
On August 27, BLM began helicopter gather operations to gather and remove all horses within the Sands Basin and Hardtrigger HMAs to ensure health and safety of the horses during the upcoming winter months. A total of 65 horses were removed from Black Mountain HMA, leaving approximately 30 on the range to achieve the low appropriate management level for the Black Mountain HMA.
A public observation day took place Thursday, August 27.
Additionally, beginning on August 31, BLM hosted public tours to observe the horses at the Boise Wild Horse Corrals 1:00-2:00 p.m. each weekday.
Directions to the Corrals:
From I-84, exit on Orchard Street (Exit 52) and go south for approximately 1.7 miles, which turns into West Gowen Road. Continue for 0.5 mile. Turn right (south) on Pleasant Valley Road and go approximately 4 miles. Turn right at the “Wild Horse Corrals.”
The Soda Fire swept across 285,000 acres of land in southwestern Idaho, including 100% of the Sands Basin and Hardtrigger Wild Horse Herd Management Areas (HMAs) and a third of the Black Mountain HMA.
The horses from these HMAs have been observed by BLM staff on unburned islands of vegetation within the burned areas and supplemental feeding of the horses commenced on August 14. Due to the condition of the horses and the lack of forage to sustain them for any great period of time, an emergency gather was conducted.