BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Release Date: 08/27/09
Contacts: Greg Albright 406-896-5260
BLM Lands in Pryor Mountains Closed to Public from Aug. 31 through Sept. 10
BLM lands in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range will be closed to public access from August 31 through September 10 to help ensure the safety of the public, contractors, and government employees during wild horse gather operations. The closure will also help protect the welfare of wild and domestic horses.
Once gather operations are concluded in specific areas, those portions of the range will be reopened. The temporary closure may be lifted prior to September 10 if gather operations are completed before that date. Areas temporarily closed to public access will be posted at main entry points with signs and/or barricades. With the exception of the adoption activities, the Britton Springs site north of Lovell, Wyo., and the adjacent area will remain temporarily closed through October 1. However, a viewing area for members of the public or media will be available near Britton Springs.
Helicopters will be used during the gather operation. Approximately 190 wild horses will be gathered from the wild horse range and lands outside the range in the Custer National Forest. Before horses are released, the sex ratio of the herd will be evened and some mares will be treated with a fertility control vaccine.
Most of the horses, about 120 head, will be released back to the range. The remainder will be available for adoption at Britton Springs on September 26. Once gathering operations have been completed, the BLM will announce times the public may view the horses at the Britton Springs site prior to their release or adoption.
In a herd management area plan completed in 2009, the BLM determined that the appropriate management level on the range is 90-120 wild horses (excluding the current year’s foal crop). This is the population (or appropriate management level) that would achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship on the range.
The wild horse range is located in the southeastern portion of Carbon County, Montana, and the northern portion of Big Horn County, Wyoming.
For more information, contact Jim Sparks, Billings Field Manager, at 406-896-5013.
The BLM manages more land - 256 million acres - than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.
Billings Field Office 5001 Southgate Drive Billings, MT 59101