The Bureau of Land Management announced on Friday it will move forward on a proposed wild horse gather in Wyoming's Red Desert Wild Horse Herd Management Area Complex.
The BLM Rawlins and Lander field offices will gather and remove wild horses at a future date that has yet to be determined. The agency believes the action will help return populations to within appropriate management levels, ensure long-term viability of sage-grouse populations within the complex, and help the BLM administer the PZP-22 fertility control vaccine to mares returned to the complex.
The Red Desert Complex, which includes the Antelope Hills, Crooks Mountain, Green Mountain, Lost Creek and Stewart Creek herd management areas, is located in Sweetwater, Carbon, Fremont and Natrona counties west and south of Wyoming Highway 287.
Based on recent aerial surveys, the BLM estimates that the Red Desert Complex's population is approaching 3,000 horses, while the agency believes the appropriate management level is less than 724 horses.
In addition, the horses are moving outside of their established herd management areas and causing impacts in areas not identified for their management.
The environmental assessment, finding of no significant impact and decision record are available by visiting the BLM website at:http://bit.ly/Red_Desert_Gather. The decision is subject to administrative review through the appeal process, which is outlined in the decision record.
Wild horses essentially have no natural predators, resulting in a rapid increase in population. If not appropriately managed, herds double in size every four to five years. To maintain wild horses in good physical condition and protect the health of public land, the BLM must manage their population growth.