BLM to gather Sand Wash horses in October

RBC | The Bureau of Land Management will begin gathering up to 50 wild horses from the Sand Wash Herd Management Area in October under a decision signed today. Beginning Oct. 21, the BLM will bait-trap wild horses in northwestern Colorado’s Sand Wash Basin in order to administer fertility control treatments and remove up to 50 young horses, which will be placed in the Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary (GEMS) training and adoption program. The BLM manages the area for up to 362 wild horses, but the current population exceeds 600, a number that poses a serious risk to the area’s ecological balance. Treating mares and removing some young horses should help check the growth of the Sand Wash Herd. Wild horses will be attracted to corrals using bait over a series of days or weeks. While confined in a corral, BLM will work with its partner group the Sand Wash Advocacy Team (SWAT) to identify horses to be placed into the adoption program as well as mares that would be treated with a contraceptive called PZP, which delays fertilization, and released back to the range. “The BLM is committed to maintaining a healthy wild horse population in Sand Wash over the long-term,” said BLM Little Snake Field Manager Bruce Sillitoe. “This small gather and fertility treatment will help keep their habitat healthy, which is key to keeping the wild horses healthy.” The BLM works closely with its partner groups GEMS and SWAT to manage the Sand Wash Herd Management Area in northwestern Colorado. The decision and associated environmental assessment are available at

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