The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has announced plans for a helicopter gather of wild horses in the Cold Springs and Hog Creek Herd Management Areas in Oregon beginning in January and February. The BLM has a commitment to keeping public lands healthy and productive.
Located 45 miles southwest of Vale, the Cold Springs Herd Management Area is in Malheur County. It has been determined that the number of horses the range can sustainably support with other animals and resources is between 75 and 150 horses. There are currently over 175 horses in the Cold Springs Herd Management Area. Hog Creek is 20 miles west of Vale and the area can support 30 to 50 horses. Currently there are more than 60 horses in that area.
Wild horse grazing jeopardizes the health of wetlands, rangelands, wildlife habitats, and animal and health condition. Both gathers aim to reduce the wild horse population into numbers that are deemed appropriate for the areas, which will reduce resource impacts.
It is anticipated that each gather will take about one week, but exact dates will be determined by the weather and contractor availability. During the gathers, the BLM will host public viewings; the public is required to read the Field Observation Protocol before they are permitted to visit.
A maximum of 15 members of the public are permitted to attend each day, with the first come, first served. Observers must check in at the BLM official meeting site to be considered for access to the viewing area. Accepted members of the public will then be led to and from the gather site by BLM employees. Four-wheel drive, high-clearance vehicles are required. The safety of the horses, BLM crew and public is of utmost priority.
Animals approved for removal from the range will be transported to Oregon's Wild Horse Corral Facility in Hines to be prepared for adoption.
Read more at the Argus Observer.
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