BLM continues stampedes to extinction.
Photo: Vince Patton/OPB
BLM Plans Beaty Butte Wild Horse Gather
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lakeview District has announced that it plans to gather approximately 1,500 horses associated with the Beaty Butte herd management area (HMA), in Oregon, in early October 2015.
Exact dates will be set based on the herd’s location closer to the gather period. The Beaty Butte HMA is located east of Adel, Oregon, in southeast Lake County.
Of the gathered animals, about 1,400 horses will be permanently removed from the Beaty Butte HMA and 100 horses (60 stallions and 40 mares) will be returned to the range. This is consistent with the appropriate management level of 100 to 250 horses established for the HMA.
“The herd population is currently six times the appropriate management level, which is damaging habitat and forage for wildlife, particularly sage grouse habitat,” said BLM Oregon/Washington Director Jerome Perez. “Our goal is to manage the resources and the horses to the best of our ability.”
Heavy wild horse grazing utilization can jeopardize the health of the rangelands, wetlands, wildlife habitats, and ultimately wild horse health and condition. Horses have overgrazed sagebrush and other plants to the extent that plants and soils are being lost entirely. The problem is compounded by the extensive drought, which has already stressed plants.
Once gathered, the horses will be taken to a temporary holding facility, where they will be provided hay and water. Following a veterinary assessment, the horses will be transported to an off-range BLM holding facility and made available for adoption or sale, or relocated to a permanent holding facility.
A limited number of members of the public will be allowed to view the gather activities in BLM-escorted groups. Interested parties should contact Larisa Bogardus at email@example.com or 541/947-6237.
The BLM’s goal is to maintain healthy, free-roaming herds at levels that balance a thriving natural ecological existence with local habitat and other multiple uses in each area. On average, Oregon herd numbers increase annually by 20%. Decisions to gather excess animals are based on rangeland monitoring studies, availability of forage and water, and wild horse numbers compared to established population targets for each HMA.
Normally, three to five of Oregon’s herds are gathered annually to balance population numbers per the range’s sustainable capabilities.
The supporting planning documents for the upcoming gather are available online at http://blm.gov/kfmd.