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The Bureau of Land Management Lander Field Office is asking for public comment on wild horse management

Bureau of Land Management Office in Lander, Wyoming.
Bureau of Land Management

The North Lander Wild Horse Complex is looking for public input about wild horse management strategies and their environmental assessment. The herd management areas in question are Conant Creek, Dishpan Butte, Muskrat Basin and Rock Creek Mountain.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) estimates that there are around 2,000 wild horses living in these areas on mostly BLM land with resources available only for 300 to 500 horses.

Sarah Beckwith, BLM Wind River Bighorn Basin District's public affairs specialist, said that even if you see seemingly healthy wild horses in the area the population will eventually reduce the health of the ecosystem.

"That's the number of horses that can thrive there, in balance with other resources and uses... Current populations are more than 500 percent over the low-appropriate management level and about 300 percent over the high appropriate management level," Beckwith said.

Beckwith said that they are looking at management strategies that include vasectomizing stallions, adjusting sex ratios in herds, and using birth control devices on mares over the span of 10 years.

The BLM just completed the nation's largest round-up wild horses that some say reduced Wyoming’s population by half.

Beckwith said that the area in question is around four hundred thousand acres and encourages anyone with thoughts about the BLM's environmental assessment to visit their website.

"So what we need now is for people to read that environmental assessment and submit substantive comments", she said.

The assessment is open for public comment through Feb. 18.

Taylar Dawn Stagner is a central Wyoming rural and tribal reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She has degrees in American Studies, a discipline that interrogates the history and culture of America. She was a Native American Journalist Association Fellow in 2019, and won an Edward R. Murrow Award for her Modern West podcast episode about drag queens in rural spaces in 2021. Stagner is Arapaho and Shoshone.
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