BLM Plans South Steens Wild Horse Bait Trap Gather

The BLM hopes to remove 100 horses for adoption and treat 40 mares with a fertility vaccine and return them to the wild.
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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Oregon’s Burns District has announced plans to conduct a bait/water trap gather of wild horses within the South Steens herd management area (HMA) beginning in August.

The objective is to capture 200 horses, selectively remove 100 horses for adoption, and apply a fertility vaccine to up to 40 mares that will be returned to the range.

The South Steens HMA is located south of Frenchglen, Oregon, in southern Harney County. The appropriate management level (AML)—the number of horses the range can sustainably support in conjunction with other animals and resource uses—for this area is 159 to 304 horses and the current population is over 600. The BLM says heavy wild horse grazing jeopardizes the health of rangelands, wetlands, wildlife habitats, and ultimately animal health and condition. Although the South Steens gather will not immediately return the herd to within AML, it will reduce resource impacts and briefly cut reproduction rates. After removing 100 horses, there will still be more than 500 horses remaining in the HMA.

Animals selected for removal from the range will be transported to Oregon’s Wild Horse Corral Facility in Hines to be prepared for adoption. For viewing, the public can visit the facility anytime during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m

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