The Federal Court gives the okay to gather and remove a group of wild horses roaming south of Rangely.
Because of drought conditions, there's no longer a natural source of water for dozens of horses living on Texas Mountain.
The Bureau of Land Management has been bringing water to them, hoping they'd adjust to the supplemental water source.
It requested an emergency gather of the horses but until now lawsuits were standing in the way.
The BLM says removing the animals is one of the best options for keeping them healthy.
“We’re extremely concerned about them and we feel very confident that if we were to do nothing that these animals would suffer a very painful death,” BLM spokesman, Chris Joyner, said. “It is very preventable and we're doing what we can to prevent that."
The court is only allowing a partial removal of the West Douglas Herd, about 40 to 50 horses.
This emergency gather is something the BLM has been working towards for some time.
The wild horses may be gathered as early as next week and put into the BLM’s adoption program.