BLM to conduct wild horse bait trap gather in Saylor Creed Herd Management area

(Photo courtesy BLM)

Support Local Journalism

The BLM Jarbidge Field Office will begin a wild horse gather operation in the Saylor Creek Wild Horse Herd Management Area (HMA), 15 miles south of Glenns Ferry. The BLM will conduct gather operations for up to four months, using temporary water and bait traps consisting of a series of corral panels stocked with water and hay/mineral. No helicopters will be used in the gather.

The BLM plans to gather 131 wild horses and remove 81 horses to maintain the Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 50 horses within the HMA. The purpose of the gather is to reduce the overpopulation of wild horses, preventing further degradation of public lands by balancing herd size with what the land can support.

A recent census count of the Saylor Creek wild horse herd showed 131 horses—two and a half times the target population level of 50 horses. The management number is based on range conditions, water availability and acreage comparisons, as well as seasonal movement during the summer and drier winter months. The management objective is to maintain a 50-50 ratio of studs to mares. All mares returned to the range to maintain the AML of 50 horses will be treated with the fertility control vaccine GonaCon to reduce foaling rates and overall population growth.

The BLM’s top priority is to conduct safe, efficient and successful wild horse gather operations, while ensuring humane care and treatment of all animals gathered. The BLM will use the best available science and handling practices for wild horses, meeting overall gather goals and objectives in accordance with the Bureau’s Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy.

Because of the nature of the bait and water trap method, wild horses are reluctant to approach the trap site when there is too much activity. Therefore, only essential gather operation personnel will be allowed at the trap site during operations.

All horses identified for removal will be transported to the Boise Wild Horse Corrals, where they will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for the BLM’s wild horse and burro Adoption and Sale Program. For information on how to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit www.blm.gov/whb.

The BLM is conducting the gather under the Saylor Creek Herd Management Area Wild Horse Bait and Water Trap Gather Environmental Assessment signed on Oct. 2, 2019. Access the Decision Record and determination of National Environmental Policy Act adequacy at https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/119817/510.

Gather reports and additional information will be posted on the BLM website at: https://www.blm.gov/site-page/programs-wild-horse-and-burro-herd-management-gathers-and-removals-idaho-2020-saylor-creek

For more information, contact Wild Horse and Burro Specialist Katie Shewmaker (208) 736-2369 or kshewmaker@blm.gov.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals.