VALE, Ore. – The Bureau of Land Management’s Vale District announced Monday it plans to conduct an emergency gather of wild horses in the Three Fingers Herd Management Area due to a recent large wildfire that burned pasture in the area.
The Cherry Road Fire, which started August 21, burned about 90 percent of the Wildhorse Basin pasture, where more than half of the estimated 279 horse herd resides. The remaining horses reside in the Riverside Pasture.
Currently, the remaining 10 percent of the Wildhorse Basin pasture has limited water resources or forage, officials said.
For this reason, the BLM’s Vale District is planning to gather about 150 wild horses and transport them to the Wild Horse Corral Facility in Hines, Oregon. It is estimated that between 80 and 120 wild horses will remain in the Riverside Pasture in the southern end of the HMA.
The post-fire recovery period for the HMA is generally two active growing seasons for upland vegetation. The removed horses which exceed the low end of the Appropriate Management Level will be prepared to be included in the adoption program. The Appropriate Management Level for the area is 75 to 150 wild horses.
The start of the gather has yet to be determined, but is expected to take place as early as Monday. The length of the gather is currently unknown.
Statistics associated with the gather can be found at: http://go.usa.gov/xW2Zk.
The Three Fingers HMA is approximately 25 miles south of Vale. The HMA is bordered on the west by the Owyhee Reservoir, on the south by the Leslie Gulch Road, and on the north by the Owyhee Dam. The Cherry Road Fire has so far burned more than 35,000 acres to the west of the Owyhee Reservoir.
The public can visit and view the horses once they arrive at the Wild Horse Corral Facility any time during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Additional information about the BLM’s wild horse and burro program is available at: http://www.blm.gov/or/resources/whb/