I’ve had a number of inquiries about the status of the gather, and I’m sure many others are wondering what’s going on too. For this gather, the BLM will be posting regular updates on the Billings Field Office’s Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range webpage (http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/fo/billings_field_office/wildhorses.html). Following is today’s post:
Daily Gather Update – June 28, 2012
The BLM has begun constructing bait traps at Cottonwood Spring, Bad Pass Seep, and Layout with salt/mineral blocks left inside the panels. The traps will remain open for the horses to pass in and out for several days in order to allow the horses to become familiar with the site. Also, the BLM will resume paint marking on low elevation Dryhead and Desert wild horses only. When marking the wild horses at the lower elevation, we did not experience the same issues of the paint rubbing off on the other horses, like what occurred in the high elevation areas. Paint marking will remain suspended for wild horses residing within the high elevation portion of wild horse range. No horses are being gathered or removed at this time.
The BLM has suspended operations using paint balls to mark targeted excess wild horses for removal in the high elevation areas of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range. Before the paint can dry, the horses were rubbing against each other and confusing the paint markings among the horses. In one instance, a paint ball exploded prematurely and marked nearby horses. The BLM is re-evaluating how to most effectively mark horses for removal, and updates will be provided here as soon as possible.
The color code below identifies tiers established for excess horse removal. This is based on the tiers identified in the Environmental Assessment (p. 9-11). http://blm.gov/pjkd
|PAINT COLOR CODE:|
|Tier One – Blue|
|Tier Two Higher Priority – Orange|
|Tier Two Lower Priority – Green|
Tier Three – Red
I’ll post updates as I can, but due to the longer nature of a bait trapping operation, the BLM will likely be able to provide more day-to-day information than I can; so I recommend checking out their webpage.