RIO BLANCO, CO - On July 26, The Bureau of Land Management or known as BLM, conducted an emergency wild horse gather on the West Douglas Herd Area, around 20 miles from Rio Blanco County. The purpose of the gathering is to protect the health of wild horses in the area due to limited water sources and deteriorating summer habitat as a result of the Oil Springs fire, to protect rangeland and public land from overuse due to excess wild horses, and to protect the rangeland and public lands from overuse due to excess wild horses.
Bill Mills, the Manager of White River Field says that “This emergency gather will prevent further deteriorating body condition of the wild horses in the area due to limited food and water."
Mills said that over the next few weeks, excess wild horses were removed from the rangelands, reducing impacts on delicate animal species and neighboring private properties.
Because of the complicated topography and lack of summer range, the White River Field Office has determined that the West Douglas Herd Area and other places outside the Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area will not be maintained for wild horses. The gathering is planned to last 19 to 25 days.
For the West Douglas Herd Area, the Appropriate Management Level is zero wild horses. The current estimated population is approximately 450 wild horses.
Those interested in viewing gather operations may contact the 2021 West Douglas Herd Area Gather Info Line at (970) 673-7768 for information on the following day's events, meeting times, and location.
Wild horses from this gather also adoptable through though the Canon City facility.
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