The Bureau of Land Management Rawlins and Lander field offices have released a revised environmental assessment that analyzes a proposed wild horse gather in the Red Desert Wild Horse Herd Management Area Complex.
The BLM originally issued the Red Desert Gather Environmental Assessment (EA) in September 2015. On March 20, the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming vacated and remanded a decision on litigation concerning the gather, requiring additional analysis of the potential impact of the gather on an historically significant gene that exists in some wild horses in the complex. The revised EA includes a discussion on this topic. The public is encouraged to comment on the revisions only; comments received on the 2015 EA do not need to be resubmitted.
The Red Desert Complex, which includes the Antelope Hills, Crooks Mountain, Green Mountain, Lost Creek and Stewart Creek herd management areas, is located in Sweetwater, Carbon, Fremont and Natrona counties west and south of Wyoming Highway 287.
Based on recent aerial surveys, the BLM estimates that the Red Desert Complex's population is approaching 3,000 horses, while the appropriate management level (AML) is less than 724 horses. In addition, the horses are moving outside of their established herd management areas and causing impacts in areas not identified for their management.
At a future date that has yet to be determined, the BLM will gather and remove excess wild horses in order to return populations to within the established AML, ensure long-term viability of sage-grouse populations within the complex, and administer the PZP-22 fertility control vaccine to mares returned to the complex.
Top of Page