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BLM removing horses from Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Range

Generic horse stock photo: MGN
Generic horse stock photo: MGN(KKTV)
Published: Jul. 27, 2018 at 9:57 PM MDT
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The Bureau of Land Management will remove up to 60 wild horses from the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Range to help sustain the population there.

According to a statement, the BLM plans to use bait and water trapping to gather wild horses beginning in late August, with an option of using a helicopter if the bait/water trapping does not work as they hope. They said they want to help sustain a healthy viable wild horse population and reduce grazing pressure on forage plants.

Marty Felix is a longtime advocate and was a part of the discussions that led to the decision.

"Obviously the drought goes into the decision and we have to look at range conditions, horse conditions, and horse numbers," Felix said.

The appropriate management level is 90 to 150 horses for the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Range. Felix said as of Friday the herd population was 193 wild horses.

The BLM will identify removal candidates with assistance from the Friends of the Mustangs, a local wild horse advocacy group. Horses removed from the range will be transported to Canon City, Colo. to await adoption.

The BLM plans to use bait and water trapping to gather wild horses beginning in late August, with an option of using a helicopter if the trapping does not achieve removal goals in a timely fashion, or if conditions mean they need to speed up their timeline.

Since 2002, the BLM and Friends of the Mustangs have been using a birth control called PZP to help control the population there. It's been effective, limiting the times these roundups are done to just twice in the last 11 years.

But some horses don't want to be tamed. A group called Monument Rocks horses, for their location in a rugged and hard-to-reach portion of the grounds, has been especially challenging to control.

"They are killing us genetically," Felix said. "They are skewing our genetics and we have to get those Monument Rock horses."

Genetics is the primary key to which horses will stay and which will go.

Anyone interested in adopting a wild horse or burro can learn more