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BLM Wild Horse & Burro Program Logo2011 Fall Gathers

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      Progress as of November 21, 2011

The 2011 fall gathers began October 10 in the Red Desert Complex 
and are expected to continue through mid-November.

Operations commenced October 25 for the Divide Basin HMA Gather and are now complete.

Phase 2 of the Red Desert Complex Gather began on November 15 and was completed on November 21.

Red Desert Complex & Great Divide Basin HMA

What?  The BLM will gather horses in both the Red Desert Complex and the Divide Basin Herd Management Area (HMA) in fall 2011. 

Where?  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. 

When?  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 dependant on weather conditions and may be longer or shorter than originally anticipated.

Why?  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.

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.

What happens to the horses that are removed?  Most of these horses will be available for adoption at the Rock Springs Wild Horse Holding Facility, the Mantle Wild Horse Training Facility, the Wyoming Honor Farm and through BLM's Internet adoptions.

Cumulative Totals for Divide Basin Gather


Animals Returned to
Home Range





       * Includes non-gather related deaths. See details in "Gather Reports".

Cumulative Totals for Red Desert Gather


Animals Returned to
Home Range





       * Includes non-gather related deaths. See details in "Gather Reports".

Divide Basin wild horse gather in 2006.
Divide Basin HMA wild horses. 

Red Desert wild horse gather in 2009.
Red Desert Complex wild horses.

Gather Information

  Observation Opportunities
  Know Before You Go
  Divide Basin Daily Reports
  Red Desert Daily Reports
NEPA Documents
  Divide Basin Gather
  Red Desert Gather
Fact Sheets
  Fall Gather Q&As
  Fall Gather FAQs
  Divide Basin Gather
  Red Desert Gather

  Divide Basin HMA

  Red Desert Complex


  Divide Basin HMA Photos

  Red Desert Complex Photos
  Rock Springs Holding Facility
  2010 Video Gallery