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BLM plans helicopter gather of about 450 wild horses east of Burns, adoption, sale of most

BLM

HINES, Ore. (KTVZ) – The Bureau of Land Management Burns District announced Friday plans to conduct a helicopter gather of wild horses within and immediately adjacent to the Stinkingwater Herd Management Area beginning in mid-August. The gather is being conducted to remove about 390 excess wild horses.

The Wild-Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 gives BLM the direction for protecting and overseeing wild horses and burros on public lands. In managing these animals, the BLM works to maintain a thriving ecological balance that supports healthy horses on healthy rangelands.

The Stinkingwater HMA is located approximately 25 air miles east of Burns, in Harney County. The Appropriate Management Level – the number of horses the range can sustainably support in conjunction with other animals and resource uses – for this area is 40 to 80 horses and the current population is about 449, the agency said.

Animals gathered from the range will be transported to Oregon’s Off-Range Wild Horse and Burro Corrals in Hines. There, about 30 horses will be selected for return to the HMA, 18 of which will be mares treated with GonaCon-Equine contraceptive and then released. The remaining horses will be prepared for adoption or sale into private care or long-term holding in Midwestern states.

The public is welcome to observe the gather. Details will be provided on the 2021 Stinkingwater Wild Horse Gather web page at: https://go.usa.gov/xFkdZ .

Supporting National Environmental Policy Act documents for this gather are available on the BLM’s ePlanning web site at https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/71905 .

The gather will likely last 1 to 2 weeks, though exact start and end dates will be determined by the contractor’s availability.

For more information, contact Tara Thissell at tthissell@blm.gov or (541) 573-4519.

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