An unspecified number of wild horses will be removed from three HMAs in southeast Oregon, starting on September 8, due to inadequate food and water.
Helicopters will push the horses into the traps, according to the news release, and the incident will be open to public observation.
Around 100 horses will be returned to the area when conditions improve.
The pre-gather population is thought to be around 2,500.
The three HMAs cover approximately 956,000 acres and the 892 horses allowed by plan receive 10,704 AUMs per year. The stocking rate allowed by plan is 0.9 wild horses per thousand acres, slightly less than the target rate of one wild horse per thousand acres across all HMAs.
The HMAs intersect seven grazing allotments, discussed in these ‘Short End of Stick’ reports: Coyote Lake, Sheepshead, Sand Springs. Privately owned livestock receive an estimated 27,011 AUMs per year in the Complex, sometimes referred to as public lands set aside for wild horses.
Captured animals will be taken to the off-range corrals Bruneau, ID and Palomino Valley, NV.
Gather stats and daily reports will be posted to this page, which indicates a removal goal of up to 1,900.
The announcement said many of the horses are emaciated and dehydrated but will they disclose the body condition scores when the operation begins?
The forage assigned to livestock would support an additional 2,251 wild horses, for a True AML of 3,143, the number of animals the area could sustain if it was managed principally for wild horses.
RELATED: Barren Valley Gather EA Comes and Goes, No News Release.