The fire burned about 90% of the Wildhorse Basin Pasture on the north end of the HMA, which was inhabited by the majority of the horses. The Riverside pasture in the south, inhabited by a smaller percentage of the horses, was not affected. Movement between the two pastures is limited by steep and rugged terrain. Refer to the BLM Emergency Gather Plan for details.
Removal occurred in the Wildhorse Basin Pasture.
BLM argued that horses will migrate from the south and re-establish the herd in the north.
Advocates disagreed, noting that the animals tend to be territorial and in this case would not attempt to cross to the north.
The decision leaves the northern part of the HMA basically free of horses, which may be good news for the government serfs.
Wild horses removed from the nearby Sands Basin HMA after the 2015 Soda Fire were recently returned to their home range.