Release Date: 08/02/11
Contacts: Shannon Borders, Public Affairs Specialist, (970) 240-5399
BLM Issues Decision for Spring Creek Wild Horse Gather
NORWOOD, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management issued the final environmental assessment and decision record for its gather plan for the wild horse population in the Spring Creek Basin Herd Management Area southwest of Norwood, Colo.
Beginning about Thursday, September 15, BLM will gather approximately 60 wild horses in the Herd Management Area, which is a 21,932 acre area managed for a healthy wild horse herd that is in balance with other resources and uses. The current estimated population of wild horses in the HMA is about 90. This number is based on ground survey completed in May 2011 by volunteers with the Four Corners Backcountry Horsemen and includes the 2011 foal crop.
The appropriate management level identified for the population in this HMA is between 35 to 65 wild horses. Up to 10 of the captured adult horses will be released to maintain herd population within the established appropriate management level. The application of the contraceptive porcine zona pellucida will be administered to mares released back into the HMA.
Wild horse numbers have increased an average of 23 percent per year since the HMA was gathered in 2007, thereby reducing the frequency of gathers.
About 25 of the wild horses gathered will be available for adoption through BLM’s wild horse and burro program. The adoption will be held at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds on Saturday, September 24 at 9 a.m. in Cortez. Individuals interested in adopting a horse must meet corral and shelter requirements. These standards are at https://www.blm.gov/adoptahorse/requirements.php. The wild horses not adopted will be placed in long-term pastures.
“We are dedicated to managing a healthy wild horse herd in the Dolores Field Office that is in balance with other public land uses and resources,” said Tom Rice, BLM Associate Field Manager.
Copies of the environmental assessment and decision record are available at http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/sjplc/wild_horses.html or by contacting the Dolores Field Office at (970) 882-6843.
Under the authority of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, BLM manages, protects, and controls wild horses and burros as part of its overall multiple-use mission. The Bureau works to ensure that population levels are in balance with rangeland resources and other uses of the public lands. Wild horses have virtually no predators and can double in population about every four years if not managed.
BLM manages four Herd Management Areas in western Colorado for wild horse herds: the Piceance-East Douglas Herd west of Meeker, the Little Bookcliffs Herd northeast of Grand Junction, the Sand Wash Herd west of Craig and the Spring Creek Herd southwest of Norwood. BLM encourages those who are interested in providing good homes to wild horses or burros to visit http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/wild_horse_and_burro.html for information about adoptions or sales.