BLM plans removal of some wild horses from the Little Book Cliffs

Staff Report

GRAND JUNCTION – The Bureau of Land Management this week signed a decision to remove up to 50 wild horses from the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Range to improve range conditions for the remaining wild horses.

The BLM plans to use bait and water trapping to gather wild horses beginning in early September.

The BLM has an established Appropriate Management Level of 90 to 150 horses for the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Range, which is northwest of DeBeque. Current numbers place the herd population at approximately 154 horses. Range conditions have suffered due to recent drought. The wild horse population is increasing and requires a gather to ensure the wild horses have enough winter forage to survive, as well as to ensure adequate forage exists for wildlife, according to the agency.

On Aug. 20, the BLM will interpret conditions at multiple monitoring stations to determine future range forage production. The number of horses to be removed will depend on how many horses BLM determines the range can sustain, but no more than 50 will be removed. The BLM will identify removal candidates with the aid of the Friends of the Mustangs, a local wild horse advocacy group. Horses five years old or younger that come from mares with other offspring remaining on the range will be the primary group identified for removal.

Horses removed from the range will be transported to the Mesa County Sheriff Posse to await adoption. Those interested in adopting a wild horse or burro can learn more at:

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