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Wild horse roundup in Idaho

Wild horse roundup in Idaho

Photo credit: Brandon Evans 

Idaho’s wild horse population is going to get a bit smaller this week. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is in the process of rounding up 365 wild horses and removing 244 “excess wild horses” from the Challis Herd Management Area (HMA). Why? To “reduce overpopulation of wild horses within the HMA,” East Idaho News reports.

The agency will use the helicopter method to round up the wild horses and will release the mares after treating them with fertility control. The plan is to have only 185 wild horses within the HMA once the roundup is complete. If unmanaged, wild horse populations can grow exponentially, straining habitat shared with sage grouse, antelope, mule deer and elk. In and around the targeted HMA, the current wild horse population is estimated at 429 animals. According to the East Idaho News, the 168,700-acre HMA has an Appropriate Management Level of 185 to 253 wild horses, which makes the current number way over objective.

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BLM maintains safe and humane capture of the animals and welcomes the public “to view the gather operations” as long as it doesn’t interfere with the roundup or cause the animals stress. All horses gathered for removal will be transported to the Bureau Wild Horse Off-Range Corral facility where a veterinarian will check each animal before it is transferred to the wild horse and burro Adoption and Sale Program. Wild horses that receive fertility control vaccines will be held temporarily in the Challis Off-Range Corral Facility. Then, they will be returned to the HMA.

If you are interested in reports or additional information, click HERE.


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Tim M. - posted 2 months ago on 11-09-2019 02:59:46 am

There should also be some kind of population control for the human animal here in the U.S. Just dont let the government be in charge.

Elyse C. - posted 2 months ago on 11-08-2019 07:10:43 pm

You are exactly correct!!! Anyone can go to “American Wild Horse Campaign” on the web. The The BLM needs to totally disemboweled. My gut says cattlemen are paying off BLM Execs, using helicopters (injuring many animals) to round them up and selling them for slaughter!!!! Those horses belong toAmerican Citizens and are an important of our heritage!
BLM employees must be prosecuted!!!!

Marc R. - posted 2 months ago on 11-08-2019 11:54:43 am

Everybody is certainly entitled to an opinion but with all due respect, take a trip to SE OR or NW NV and spend a day or two covering some ground using the boots on your feet. In some areas, you will be hard pressed to find a single inch of ground that doesn't have a horse track or large piles of horse dung on it. You will also find that you are looking at large herds of really tall cows that look oddly similar to feral horses...

Kelea H. - posted 2 months ago on 11-08-2019 09:36:36 am

BLM and cattlemen are in control over the removal of the native horses. BLM is paid by you the taxpayers. Cattlemen don't pay anything. They steal the land for their cows, intended for the native horses. The cows destroy the watersheds and the grass fields, look at their feet, that tells all. So stop saying it's the horse that destroys the land. The horses have been here the longest, if the lands were destroyed by them. There wouldn't be any grass on this Earth. Except planted wheatgrass, that the horse can't dijest. BLM has tried to brain wash you into thinking, there is to many horses out there, and that they need to be spayed by using a metal rod. Thats a barbaric method of abuse even for the BLM. They must have a dislike for female horses to abuse them so HORRIBLE. The horses aren't the problem here!! It's the BLM and too many Cows. So BOYCOTT BEEF!! Problem solved!!!!

Marc R. - posted 2 months ago on 11-08-2019 08:30:10 am

Well said Dillon H.! Hunters = conservation. Protecting the horses does nothing for conservation. Without management, the horse population does what it does. It boggles the mind why we protect them rather than manage them when we know what they do to the landscape and we know what result they have on our game populations.

Dillon H. - posted 2 months ago on 11-07-2019 04:43:57 pm
Douglas, Wyoming

A Reservation in the Southwest I believe Navajo Nation was going to have hunt recently to reduce numbers and damage to habitat. The cowards came out of the wood works and it was canceled immediately there after. If they don’t want allow something reasonable, won’t except anything reasonable. Than I say complete removal is the only option. Pheasants thrive in habitat that has all but been destroyed by agricultural development I have never heard of any real conservation concerns, but if they are remaking havoc on a native species I would support there removal. Damage caused by wild horses IS unbelievable. That cannot be argued no matter how pretty they are or how much they make you tingle. Every horse running wild equals less mule deer or elk, taken from hunters. It’s taking money out of the pocket of ranchers that pay to graze there. Albeit they pay very little they still pay. The economic benefit of horses especially large numbers will never overcome the deficit they run up for the land management agency. It’s no wonder the BLM is constantly accused of incompetence, all they do is combat fires and round pretty ponies! I can’t even believe someone would support the destruction of fragile western lands, all for a chance to see a horse. Go to a equine show or a real rodeo... cowboy!

Robert T. - posted 2 months ago on 11-07-2019 01:15:42 pm
Blackfoot, ID

Before everyone jumps on the invasive species bandwagon, are you saying that all Pheasants should be removed, and that Rainbow Trout should be removed from the water?

Robert T. - posted 2 months ago on 11-07-2019 01:10:56 pm
Blackfoot, ID

Thanks yes I am aware of the adoption program and have had many of them over the years. They are great mountain horses if you train them right and recognize that they are wild animals. I have never had the opportunity to own one that came from my home state of Idaho as there are only a few herds here and they are kept in balance with the range for the most part leaving only a few up for adoption every few years. I am going to try to get one out of the current roundup.

That is extremely ignorant to say that all wild horses are bad. They are iconic of the American west and a symbol of our American heritage and our explorative spirit. That said wild horses are a huge problem in the American west due to mis-management and "Horse Huggers". My personal opinion is that management should be turned over to the Fish and Game and manage them like every other wild animal. Their numbers need to be kept in check and putting thousands of wild animals a year in feedlots is not the answer. It would be more humane as you put it to shoot some of the individuals that exceed the management objective, or god forbid send them to slaughter rather than cage a wild animal that will live 20-30 years in misory missing the freedom they once knew. If they are so valuable that they need to all be kept alive why is their such a shortage of adopters?

Jacob F. - posted 2 months ago on 11-07-2019 01:00:43 pm

Robert T. they have a great program for adoption of BLM horses and burros:

Dillon H. - posted 2 months ago on 11-07-2019 12:56:29 pm
Douglas, Wyoming

Gun them from the air and feed the coyotes, they are a drain on resources and budgets. They don’t belong.

Marc R. - posted 2 months ago on 11-07-2019 12:35:59 pm

What a sensitive topic for those who hunt where these unregulated horses roam... The so called wild horse topic always pushes my buttons. Oregon and Nevada may as well adopt them as their sate animal. Its been nice knowing you Mr. Beaver and Mr. Bighorn! I hope Idaho takes a more aggressive approach and doesn't mimic OR and NV!

Robert T. - posted 2 months ago on 11-07-2019 11:46:03 am
Blackfoot, ID

I want to adopt one.

Ben L. - posted 2 months ago on 11-07-2019 10:41:04 am

All states with wild horses need to come up with a plan to control these feral horses. I have hunted in the deserts of Utah and Nevada and they are everywhere. Taking 365 animals from those herds wouldn't put a dent in the population.