BLM Plans Second South Steens Wild Horse Bait-Trap Gather

The agency hopes to gather and remove about 100 horses from the Oregon herd management area.

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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced plans Nov. 7 to conduct a second bait/water trap gather of wild horses within Oregon’s South Steens herd management area (HMA) during the month of November.

A similar bait trap gather was conducted in August 2016 in one of the northern pastures of the HMA with 100 horses selectively removed for adoption. The November gather would be conducted in a separate area of the HMA, but again capture and remove 100 horses from the range.

The South Steens HMA is located south of Frenchglen, Oregon, in southern Harney County. The BLM said its 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; the current population is more than 500 horses.

The BLM said heavy wild horse grazing could jeopardize 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, the BLM said. After removing 100 horses, there will still be more than 400 horses remaining in the HMA

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