36 Sand Wash Basin wild horses released back to wild

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MILFORD, UT – MAY 31: Wild horses roam free on state and some private land, outside federal disengaged horse management areas on May 31, 2017 outside Milford, Utah. The BLM, state officials and ranchers all over the Western United States are struggling with what to do about and how to control the burgeoning horse population in the west. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

LAKEWOOD, Colo. – On Saturday, Sept. 11, the Colorado Bureau of Land Management and the local Sand Wash Advocate Team released 25 mares and 24 stallions back to the Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area as part of the ongoing fertility control program for wild horses.

“The health and safety of wild horses on public lands is a top concern for the Bureau of Land Management as we continue to address the impacts of drought and climate change across the West. We are committed to working collaboratively with state and local officials, wild horse advocates and affected local communities on the best path forward to protect healthy wild horses on healthy public lands,” said Jamie Connell, BLM Colorado State Director.

The Colorado BLM rounded up approximately 683 wild horses from public lands in and outside of the Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area since operations launched on Wednesday, Sept. 1. The gather was held due to severe drought conditions and lack of forage for the horses.

The Colorado BLM intends to continue working with the state and community to manage and protect the Sand Wash Basin herd, including supporting the fertility-control darting program, building range improvements such as fencing and water infrastructure, and using bait-trap methods to gather smaller groups of animals when removals are necessary. BLM CO will also look to the State of Colorado to with volunteer recruitment and training.

The BLM transported the wild horses removed from the range to an off-range corral facility in Cañon City in order to be examined by a veterinarian and made available for adoption.

For more information about the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program, click here.

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