Bureau of Land Management issues decision on wild horse gathers and fertility control treatments

Agency signed a decision to gather and remove excess wild horses Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area

Wild horses graze along Highway 318 in early December near Sand Wash Basin. A new 7-mile stretch of fencing will soon protect horses and motorists along Highway 318, thanks to funds raised by Wild Horse Warriors for the project. (Courtesy Photo / Wild Horse Warriors)

The Bureau of Land Management White River Field Office signed a decision to gather and remove excess wild horses from the Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area in northwestern Colorado, according to a press release from the agency Monday.

“The BLM is committed to sustaining an ecological balance in the Piceance-East Douglas HMA,” said White River Field Manager Kent Walter. “Our goal is to have healthy horses on healthy rangelands.”

The appropriate management level in the HMA is 135-235 horses. However, curernt estimates place the herd population at 838 wild horses.

Through the decision, helicopter and/or bait trapping methods may be used for gather operations, the agency states. Fertility treatments will be used to curb annual herd population growth as well, according to the press release.

The decision and its associated documents are available online. Appeals to the decision will be accepted over the next 30 days and must be submitted in writing to: Field Manager, BLM White River Field Office, 220 East Market St., Meeker, CO 81641.

For information about the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program, visit

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