BLM, University of Wyoming begin wild horse tracking study

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BLM courtesy photo.

The Bureau of Land Management began a roundup of wild horses on Sunday as part of a University of Wyoming study of seasonal movements in the Adobe Town Herd Management Area.

Radio collars on up to 30 wild mares this month as part of the study. Wild horses will be captured in a bait-and-trap roundup; no helicopters will be used.

No wild horses were captured on the first day of trapping, according to BLM.

For the study, about 20 to 30 mares ages 5-older will be separated out, with the other horses released from the baited temporary pens. The selected mares will be transported to the Rock Springs Wild Horse Holding Facility, where U.S. Geological Survey staff will collar the horses before they released at or near where they were captured on the Horse Management Area.

The goal of the study is to learn more about how wild horses interact with their environment by tracking migration patterns and herd movements. “The results of this study will provide the BLM with new information ensuring that healthy wild horse herds continue to thrive on healthy rangelands,” according to a BLM press release.

Wild horses in the Wyoming Checkerboard — where areas of public and private land sit side by side, without fencing — have been the subject of several court cases pitting advocates against ranchers and others that would like to see the wild horses removed.

In October, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit issued a landmark decision that stops the BLM from wiping out wild horses from over one million acres of public land in the Checkerboard.

The Adobe Town Horse Management Area is located in between Interstate 80 and the Wyoming-Colorado border. It includes 472,812 acres, 444,744 of which are managed by the BLM.

Public viewing:

Viewing will be allowed in Rock Springs and when collared mares are released. To be added to a BLM list of those interested in viewing the release, contact Tony Brown at (307) 352-0215.