Fourteen wild horses were captured on Monday, the first day of a Bureau of Land Management helicopter roundup on private property inside and outside the South Steens Herd Management Area in Oregon.
Over about five days, the BLM’s goal is to capture and remove 200 wild horses from their home range that the agency says have strayed onto private property within and outside the HMA’s southern boundary.
BLM has no plans as part of this roundup to apply safe, proven and humane fertility control which would allow for the phase-out of capture-and-removal as its primary tool.
The BLM-set Appropriate Management Level for the South Steens HMA, which includes 134,000 acres of mixed public and private land is 159-304 wild horses, or as low as one horse for every 843 acres.
By comparison, BLM allocates 13,136 Animal Unit Months for private livestock grazing on the HMA. An AUM is defined as the forage needed to sustain one cow and her calf, one horse, or five sheep or goats for a month.
Wild horses captured and removed from their home range are to be transported to Oregon’s Wild Horse Corral Facility in Hines, Ore., to be prepared for adoption.