2011 Red Desert and Great Divide Basin Wild Horse Gather
10/9/11 - 11/21/11
Purpose of Gather:
To reduce overpopulation of wild horses and achieve appropriate management level. Each herd management area has what is called an appropriate management level (AML). That is the number of horses that can thrive in a particular area in balance with other resources and uses. When a herd exceeds its appropriate management level, it becomes necessary to remove some of the horses to ensure the health of the rangeland, wildlife and the horses themselves.
Details of Gather:
The BLM conduct a helicopter gather to gather horses in both the Red Desert Complex and the Divide Basin Herd Management Area (HMA) in fall 2011.
The BLM Lander and Rawlins field offices cooperatively manage the Red Desert Complex, which includes the Antelope Hills, Crooks Mountain, Green Mountain, Lost Creek and Stewart Creek HMAs, and is located in Sweetwater, Carbon, Fremont and Natrona counties west and south of Wyoming highway 789/287. The complex encompass about 753,000 acres of land, of which 703,500 are BLM-administered public lands.
The Rock Spring Field Office manages the Divide Basin HMA, which is located 40 miles east of Rock Springs to the Rawlins/Rock Springs field office boundary, west to the Continental Divide, and north of I-80 to just south of South Pass City. The Divide Basin HMA encompasses 778,915 acres, of which 562,702 acres are BLM-administered public lands.
The gathers are anticipated to begin October 7 in the Red Desert Complex, move south to the Divide Basin HMA and conclude back in the Red Desert Complex in late November. The fall gathers will move between the HMAs to ensure that gather operations will be complete in the high country of the Green Mountain area before early winter storms blanket it with snow. Gather operations will then move to the lower elevation HMAs. The duration of the gathers is largely dependent on weather conditions and may be longer or shorter than originally anticipated.
In addition, the gathers provide the opportunity to treat mares with the fertility control drug PZP to decrease reproduction rates. In the Red Desert Complex, mares that were first treated with PZP in 2009 will be treated with PZP boosters and all other mares to be returned will be treated with their first doses of PZP. In the Divide Basin HMA, where fertility control through PZP treatments has not been used in the past, mares to be returned will be treated with PZP for the first time.
Thank you for your interest in observing BLM wild horse gather operations in the Red Desert Complex and Divide Basin Herd Management Area (HMA). The BLM is committed to providing as much public access to the gather as possible.
Please be advised that gather operations are fluid and may change at any time. For example, the team may need to move and reconstruct gather sites and holding facilities. Weather conditions are uncertain. Delays of one or more days may be necessary. We encourage you to monitor our website closely for the most up-to-date information. The BLM appreciates your patience.
The gather schedule will move back and forth between Red Desert and Divide Basin. Please be aware of the current location of the gather you’re interested in attending.
If you’re interested in watching this gather, please contact Sarah Beckwith,email@example.com, to be added to the anticipated visitors log. Only individuals listed on the visitors’ log will be contacted with daily meeting locations and times. Email contact is requested as cell phone service is unreliable in the HMAs.
If you’re interested in watching this gather, please contact Serena Baker, firstname.lastname@example.org, to be added to the anticipated visitors log. Only individuals listed on the visitors’ log will be contacted with daily meeting locations and times. Email contact is requested as cell phone service is unreliable in the HMAs.
Please read the “Know Before You Go” fact sheet. The HMAs are in rugged and remote areas. Safety is our first priority and BLM staff will be available each public observation day to escort you into areas where you can safely view gather operations. We are providing the following information for your safety so you can be prepared for your visit.