BLM to gather and remove excess wild horses from Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area

Following written requests from two private landowners to remove wild horses from their properties, the Bureau of Land Management’s Little Snake Field Office plans to gather and remove approximately 50 excess wild horses from BLM public lands and private lands within and adjacent to the Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area (HMA) in Moffat County in the coming weeks.

The current population of the Sand Wash Basin herd is estimated to be 828 head of wild horses, but the Appropriate Management Level is between 163 and 362 wild horses.

A group of wild horses crossing a dry dusty road in the Sand Wash Basin in 2017. (Ashley Simonet / Courtesy Photo)

Under the Wild Horse and Burro Act, the BLM is required to remove wild horses from private lands when requested in writing, according to the act’s language.

Approximately 20 wild horses will be gathered and removed from private lands in Moffat County near the Sand Wash Basin HMA and Adobe Town HMA located to the north in Wyoming, according to the Little Snake Field Office.

Additionally, the BLM plans to remove approximately 30 excess wild horses from BLM public lands along eight miles of the Sand Wash Basin HMA’s southern boundary, within two miles of Colorado Highway 318, according to a press release. The purpose of this gather is to reduce the risk of wild horse/vehicle collisions, for the safety of the wild horses and members of the public traveling on the highway, BLM said.

“We are committed to managing healthy wild horses on healthy rangelands, while being a good neighbor,” said Bruce Sillitoe, Little Snake Field Office’s Manager. “Prolonged drought conditions have increased wild horse movement in search of water and vegetation resources, impacting both public and private lands.”

All of the excess wild horses will be gathered using approved capture techniques, primarily bait trapping.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Craig and Moffat County make the Craig Press’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.