Updates Approved to Fifteenmile Wild Horse Management Area
Written by andrew-rossi on August 19, 2019
Two management actions have been approved to make adjustments to the plan for the Fifteenmile Wild Horse Herd Management area northwest of Worland.
The decision approves an update to the Fifteenmile HMA Plan, which includes adjustments to wild horse herd and habitat monitoring objectives in the area that spans three counties – Washakie, Big Horn, and Park.
The decision also approves a gather and removal of excess wild horses in the HMA, tentatively scheduled to occur this fall. The HMA’s appropriate management level is 100–230 wild horses – that’s the point at which the wild horse population is consistent with the land’s capacity to support it, and other mandated uses of those lands. Based on recent aerial surveys, the BLM estimates that the population is approaching 700 horses, more than three times the appropriate level.
The BLM Worland Field Office points out that wild horses essentially have no natural predators, resulting in a rapid increase in population. If not appropriately managed, herds double in size every four to five years. To maintain wild horses in good physical condition and protect the health of public land, the BLM must manage their population growth.
The gather operation this fall will remove wild horses and put them up for adoption to qualified applicants.