Healthy Horses on Healthy Rangelands
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Healthy Horses on Healthy Rangelands

August 29, 2019

We’re in the Sand Wash Basin Herd Management
Area in Northern Colorado. We’re out conducting a gather to remove
50 wild horses from Sand Wash Basin. The estimated population out in this HMA right
now is just over 600 horses. The Appropriate Management Level (AML), which
is how many horses have been identified to be able to be out here and to be healthy,
at the high end is 362. One of the main goals of the BLM and the wild
horse program is that we want healthy horses on healthy rangelands. This gather is to make steps towards getting
this herd in balance with the vegetation resource on this landscape. So one of the key components and one of the
things that really allows us to be able to conduct this gather is we have a couple of
good partners working with us. So we’ve worked really closely with the
Sand Wash Basin Advocacy Team (SWAT) in planning this gather and conducting this gather. They’re helping us ID horses that are eligible
to remove, whether that’s age based or genetics. They’re also helping us identify horses
that should stay. So we’re working with a group of professionals
that know and have been around a lot of wild horses. They have a system of catching these horses
that reduces the stress. We’re using bait trapping during this gather,
and they’ve done an incredible job for us. And then once we actually remove those horses
we’re sending them to the Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary (GEMS) where they can enter a training
and adoption facility and find good homes. I like my job because it lets me come out
here and work with some incredible people and see some incredible country. And just the wildlife, the animals, the horses
themselves, that’s why I get to wake up and be happy about what I do every day.

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