October 23, 2009 – Other Gathers

Though the Pryor horses get a lot of attention, there are actually two other wild horse herds in the Bighorn Basin besides them. Both of these herds recently had gathers too. I got some figures from these gathers from the BLM today to post here.

The McCullough Peaks horses are near Cody. They were gathered last week. During the gather, 191 horses were brought in with 94 horses being removed and 97 being released. Of the released horses, 34 females were treated with PZP. They also estimate that there were around a dozen horses not gathered.

The Fifteenmile horses are near Worland. They were gathered this week. During the gather, 377 horses were brought in with 307 horses being removed and 70 being released. No females were treated with PZP. They estimate that there were possibly 10 to 15 other horses not gathered.

The 401 total horses removed from the McCullough Peaks and Fifteenmile HMAs were taken to Rock Springs where they will be made available for adoption. There will be more gathers in other parts of Wyoming in the upcoming weeks as well.

Published in: on October 23, 2009 at 2:56 pm  Comments (12)  

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12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. i am sorry to see so many horses removed, it will be hard on them, especially the older ones, unless there are people looking out for them, as w/the Pryors, I hope so,

  2. I am not surprised that the BLM is leaving such a small amount of horses in the wild. It is their plan to marginalize the horses and they are obviously doing so. Keep writing letters and phoning your Senators to give the wild horses back their rightful range.

  3. Matt,
    Do you know why so many horses were removed from the Fifteenmile herd?
    That is one heck of a lot of horses.
    Wendy D

    • Yes, Matt, tell us what you think is going on. Why so many. Let’s have straight talk on this, Matt.

    • Yes, Matt, if you know why so many horses were removed, please let us know; it makes no sense to me when the BLM says it can’t afford to maintain all those already in it’s long and short term holding facilities, that they continue to remove whole populations of wild horses; the horses that I’ve seen all look healthy, not starving, so what IS going on?

  4. Well, for starters, I think that a big reason for these big gathers have something to do with the consent degree that exists in Wyoming. As I understand it, this basically makes it a top priority for wild horse herds in Wyoming to be maintained at AML. I’ve been hearing with the Fifteenmile horses that a number of them had left their HMA and were living on private property adjacent to the HMA. In reading the NEPA documents for that gather, it seems as though there were a number of comments in favor of removing these horses who had left. So I guess in the end, I can’t really attempt to further answer the question. I will say I am not encouraged by the big gathers that have happened or will happen, especially when also considering some parts of proposed legislation along with recent proposals by the BLM.

  5. Appreciate your comments, Matt, as always. I for one am on a learning curve on this issue and a few observations from you such as the above really help me to understand these disparate issues and points of view.


  6. So how do you feel about Salazar’s suggestion of catching all the wild horses, gelding the stallions and turning them out in big pastures in the east and midwest?
    Do you think any of the fascinating wild behaviour would still be evident? The stallions raising orphan foals? the groups of stallions playing with the older colt? the black stallion with a preference for grulla mares? Do you think seeing big bands in pastures would in any way be the equivalent of watching small family bands in the wild?

    • I personally think that the ideas of establishing these new long-term holding facilities, gelding herds, or any of that are just really poor attempts at applying temporary fixes to a larger problem. I see a lot of very impulsive reactions in the world of wild horse management right now, and it really disappoints me as this all seems to be building so much momentum. I would love to see everyone stop, step back, take a deep breath, and try and determine some solutions to the program that are humane, scientific, and cost-effective. But that’s just me.

      • Matt,
        I agree. Watching from afar, it seems there needs to be a cooling off period, and some common sense.
        I am getting the sense that the BLM would like to get out of the wild horse business, and that government itself would like to do away with the Wild Horse and Burro Act. It seems to have become a burr.
        It appears there has been mismanagment along the way, and like in all situations involving wildlife, the animals pay the price for human error.
        We are so great at trying to manage every species out there, except our own!
        All of this makes me appreciate even more the diligent work and dedication you give to the Pryor Mountain herd, when you must feel like all the cards are stacked against your efforts.
        Thanks for all that you are doing.

  7. Salazar’s plan makes about as much sense as the Forest Service saying they wanted the horses “removed”, but not “permanently removed” from the Commissary Ridge area. These government “experts” need to take the time to consult with people who REALLY know about the horses, rather than trying to make “politically correct” moves so they can keep their jobs because at least half of them aren’t really qualified to hold their positions because of their knowledge of real life situations.

    If we keep sending them reasonable requests with actual and factual information, maybe some of it will eventually “sink in”. Seems to me we need to educate them, but not “attack” them, because then they won’t be listening for sure.

    Matt, I hope you are sharing your down-to-earth solution ideas with everyone you can get to.


  8. Me Too MAtt!

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