2021 Rock Springs Wild Horse Gather

Background and Details of Gather:

The BLM Wyoming Rock Springs and Rawlins field offices will remove wild horses from the Great Divide Basin, Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek, White Mountain and Little Colorado Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in southwestern Wyoming. 

The BLM estimates the wild horse population across the five HMAs to be approximately 5,105, which is more than double the combined appropriate management level of 1,550-2,145 horses. The gather is being conducted to address the overpopulation on the HMAs, prevent deterioration of the rangeland due to the overpopulation, remove horses from private lands and areas not designated for their long-term use, and comply with the 2013 Consent Decree between the Rock Springs Grazing Association and the BLM. 

The BLM plans to remove approximately 3,500 horses to return wild horse populations to within the appropriate management levels. BLM estimates that around 800 animals that are gathered will be returned to the range. Any mare returned to an HMA will be treated with temporary fertility control. Managing wild horses at appropriate levels allows BLM to maintain rangeland and wild horse heard health and reduce trespass onto private land and highways.

The gather will begin on or after October 7, 2021.

The BLM uses a federal contractor to gather wild horses from HMAs where the BLM has determined excess animals exist. The contractor uses a helicopter to locate and herd horses toward a set of corrals. The helicopter is assisted by a ground crew and a domesticated horse to lead the gathered horses into the corrals. If needed, the ground crew may assist the helicopter by roping wild horses from horseback.

The BLM takes the humane treatment of wild horses and burros during gather operations very seriously. Helicopters have been shown to be the most humane method to gather horses.

Public Observation:

Opportunities are available for the public to observe gather operations, provided that doing so does not jeopardize the safety of the animals, staff, contractors and observers, or disrupt gather operations. The BLM will escort the public to gather observation sites located on public lands or authorized private lands. If you are interested in watching the gather, you must contact Brad Purdy at bpurdy@blm.gov.

Observers must provide their own transportation, water and food. The BLM recommends a four-wheel drive, high clearance vehicle, and footwear and clothing suitable for harsh field conditions. Public restrooms will not be available onsite. 

Adoption Info:

The BLM will transport all wild horses removed from the range to holding facilities in Rock Springs, Wyoming; Wheatland, Wyoming; and other locations to be determined where the horses will be freeze branded, vaccinated, dewormed and given a Coggins test. The corrals receiving the horses from the gathers will not be taking requests from the public to hold specific horses.

Some of the horses may also be taken to the Wyoming Honor Farm in Riverton or the Mantle Adoption and Training Facility in Wheatland for gentling before being made available for adoption.

Gathered wild horses will be available for adoption through the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program.

2021 Rock Springs Gather Reports

2021 Rock Springs Gather Reports

Great Divide Basin HMA

October 7, 2021

Summary: Clear with mild temperatures

Animals gathered: 9 (5 Mares, 1 Stallion, 3 Foals)

Animals shipped: 0 (0 Studs, 0 Mares, 0 Foals)

Total Deaths Today:  0
   Acute/Sudden: 0
   Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

 

October 8, 2021

Summary: Cloudy, cool, with scatted showers

Animals gathered: 34 (14 Mares, 13 Stallions, 7 Foals)

Animals shipped: 2 (0 Studs, 1 Mare, 1 Foal to the Rock Springs Corrals)

Total Deaths Today:  0
   Acute/Sudden: 0
   Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

 

October 9, 2021

No gather operations due to high winds.

Animals shipped: 18 (0 Studs, 18 Mares, 0 Foals to the Rock Springs Corrals)

 

October 10, 2021

Summary: Cloudy, cool, with scatted showers

Animals gathered: 24 (10 Mares, 9 Stallions, 5 Foals to the Rock Springs Corrals)

Animals shipped: 11 (0 Studs, 10 Mares, 1 Foal)

Total Deaths Today:  0
   Acute/Sudden: 0
   Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

 

October 11, 2021

Summary: Cloudy, cool, with scatted showers

Animals gathered: 76 (45 Mares, 10 Stallions, 21 Foals)

Animals shipped: 80 (0 Studs, 42 Mares, 4 Foals to the Rock Springs Corrals) (20 Studs, 0 Mares, 14 Foals to the Wheatland Corrals )

Total Deaths Today:  0
   Acute/Sudden: 0
   Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

 

October 12, 2021

No gather operations due to high winds and snow.

 

October 13, 2021

No gather operations due to high winds and poor road conditions.

 

October 14, 2021

Summary: Cold with strong afternoon winds

Animals gathered: 26 (15 Mares, 5 Stallions, 6 Foals)

Animals shipped: 16 (16 Mares to the Rock Springs Corrals)

Total Deaths Today:  0
   Acute/Sudden: 0
   Chronic/Pre-existing: 2 (clubbed foot)

 

October 15, 2021

Summary: Cold and windy

Animals gathered: 29 (11 Mares, 12 Stallions, 6 Foals)

Animals shipped: 46 (10 Mares to the Rock Springs Corrals) (13 Stallions, 23 foals to the Wheatland Corrals)

Total Deaths Today:  2
   Acute/Sudden: 1 (broken leg)
   Chronic/Pre-existing: 1 (clubbed foot)

 

October 16, 2021

Summary: Cold and windy

Animals gathered: 37 (14 Mares, 19 Stallions, 4 Foals)

Animals shipped: 0

Total Deaths Today:  0
   Acute/Sudden: 0
   Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

 

October 17, 2021

Summary: Sunny with mild temperatures, afternoon winds

Animals gathered: 50 (24 Mares, 15 Stallions, 11 Foals)

Animals shipped: 41 (38 Mares, 3 Foals to the Rock Springs Corrals)

Total Deaths Today:  0
   Acute/Sudden: 0
   Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

 

October 18, 2021

Summary: Sunny with mild temperatures, afternoon winds

Animals gathered: 19 (11 Mares, 4 Stallions, 4 Foals)

Animals shipped: 55 (24 Stallions,18 Foals to the Wheatland Corrals) (11 Mares, 2 Foals to Rock Springs Corrals)

Total Deaths Today:  0
   Acute/Sudden: 0
   Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

October 19, 2021

No gather operations due to poor road conditions.

October 20, 2021

Summary: Sunny with mild temperatures, afternoon winds.

Animals gathered: 104 (34 mares, 52 stallions, 18 foals)

Animals shipped: 0

Total Deaths Today: 0
   Acute/Sudden: 0
   Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

October 21, 2021

Summary: Partly sunny with mild temperatures, afternoon winds.

Animals gathered: 68 (34 mares, 22 stallions, 12 foals)

Animals shipped: 142 (51 mares, 68 stallions, 23 foals)

Total Deaths Today: 0
   Acute/Sudden: 0
   Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

October 22, 2021

Summary: Sunny with mild temperatures, afternoon winds.

Animals gathered: 62 (28 mares, 18 stallions, 16 foals)

Animals shipped: 61 (28 mares, 21 stallions, 12 foals)

Total Deaths Today: 0
   Acute/Sudden: 0
   Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

October 23, 2021

Summary: Cloudy with some rain and afternoon winds. 

Animals gathered: 62 (12 stallions, 34 mares, 16 foals)

Animals shipped: 67 (17 stallions, 34 mares, 16 foals)

Total Deaths Today: 2
   Acute/Sudden: 2
   Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

October 24, 2021

Summary: Sunny in the morning gave way to partly cloudy in the afternoon. 

Animals gathered: 143 (49 stallions, 61 mares and 33 foals)

Animals shipped: 43 (1 stallions, 40 mares, 2 foals)

Total Deaths Today: 0
   Acute/Sudden: 0
   Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

October 25, 2021

Summary: Partly cloudy and windy. No gather operations. 

Animals gathered: 0

Animals shipped: 108 (49 stallions, 19 mares, 40 foals)

Total Deaths Today: 0
   Acute/Sudden: 0
   Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

October 26, 2021

No gather operations due to poor weather conditions. No animals shipped.

NEWSROOM

BLM to start gathering wild horses on 5 HMAs in southwest Wyoming 

BLM Wyoming temporarily closes Rock Springs holding facility

DOWNLOADS

NEPA documents in support of this gather can be accessed on the project ePlanning page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Know Before You Go

CUMULATIVE TOTALS

As of October 25

Animals Gathered
745 (242 stallions, 341 mares and 162 foals)

Animals Treated with Fertility Control
0

Animals Returned to Home Range
1

Animal Deaths
6

-Sudden/Acute: 3

-Pre-existing/Chronic: 3

Scroll to the bottom of this gather page for detailed “Daily Gather Reports”.