CHEYENNE — Gov. Mark Gordon has expressed his support of a wild horse gathering the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning in southwest Wyoming.
Comments closed Friday, April 30, for the BLM’s environmental assessment (EA) for an upcoming wild horse gather, removal and fertility control program in southern Wyoming’s checkerboard lands in Sweetwater, Carbon, Fremont, Lincoln, and Sublette counties.
In a letter to the BLM, the governor stated that he is concerned about the impact Wyoming’s unmanaged wild horse populations have on the landscape, wildlife and multiple-use of the state’s public lands. He voiced support for the proposed upcoming gather and underscored the importance of utilizing various tools to assist with wild horse population management, including growth suppression tools, targeted roundups and removals, horse relocation and adoptions.
“We must explore solutions that balance multiple uses, including forage for livestock and habitat for wildlife, all the while sustaining healthy wild horse herds and rangelands,” Gordon wrote. “This must also be done while conforming to the rights of private landowners throughout southwestern Wyoming’s private and public checkerboard lands.”
The environmental assessment proposes the removal of approximately 3,500 horses across the five herd management areas (HMAs), including Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek, Great Divide Basin, White Mountain, and Little Colorado.
The appropriate management level (AML) for the five HMAs is between 1,550 to 2,165 horses. The BLM estimates that there are approximately 5,105 wild horses currently within the five HMAs. Appropriate management level is the number of wild horses that the BLM determines can exist in balance with other public range land species, resources, and uses in a given area.
In his letter, Gordon also encouraged the BLM to collaborate with the state wherever possible on managing the state’s wild horse populations. More information on the project, including the EA, can be found at https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/1501993/510.