BLM Press Release announced to the public November 20, 2013:
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Rock Springs Field Office will begin a wild horse gather in the Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek (ATSW) Herd Management Areas (HMAs) located south of Interstate 80 to the Wyoming/Colorado border from Rock Springs to Wamsutter, Wyo. this week.The BLM will gather approximately 700 wild horses, treat with PZP-22 fertility control, release and remove mustangs. The two HMAs are jointly managed as the ATSW Complex (“Complex”) because of unrestricted movement of wild horses between the two areas. The Complex is located in the checkerboard pattern of mixed public, private, and state land ownership in Sweetwater and Carbon counties. The BLM respects private land-owner rights while managing wild horse populations. The ATSW Complex includes approximately 510,308 acres that are privately controlled. The gather conforms to the Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA) Consent Decree ordered by the U.S. District Court on April 3, 2013, to remove all wild horses from private lands within the checkerboard portion of the ATSW Complex in 2013.
There is no anticipated closure of public lands, except if deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Hunters and other outdoor recreationists should be aware that brief road closures may be needed to allow movement of wild horse herds and that low flying aircraft will also be present in the area. The BLM requests pilots avoid flight patterns through the ATSW Complex as air traffic could pose a safety risk. Helicopters used in gather operations often have to change course and altitude quickly. The gather is expected to last roughly four weeks, or until the designated number of excess wild horses have been removed from the HMAs. The Complex was last gathered in October 2010.
If interested in viewing the gather, contact Serena Baker, firstname.lastname@example.org, to be added to the anticipated visitors’ log. Only individuals listed on the visitors’ log will be contacted with daily viewing sites, times, and locations of where to meet. Please read the “Know Before You Go” tip sheet at: www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/Wild_Horses/13atsw-gather/public-observ.html. Also, please be aware that gather operations will focus largely on private sections within the checkerboard, so public viewing opportunities may be limited. Public viewing sites will be designated on public lands a safe distance from wild horse trap sites, and outside the aircraft flight plan.
Please be advised that gather operations are fluid and may change at any time. For example, the team may need to move and reconstruct trap sites. Weather conditions are uncertain. Delays of one or more days may be necessary. We encourage you to monitor our website closely for the most up-to-date information. The BLM appreciates your patience.
The Rock Springs Wild Horse Holding Facility will be closed for on-site tours and adoptions during gather operations. The wild horses being gathered will be brought to the holding facility to be health inspected, vaccinated, and tested for Equine Infectious Anemia or Coggins. However, the facility’s public viewing kiosk will remain open daily.
Animals removed from the ATSW Complex will be available for adoption. The BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program applications and requirements are available at: www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/Wild_Horses/adopt.html.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2012, activities on public lands generated $4.6 billion in revenue, much of which was shared with the States where the activities occurred. In addition, public lands contributed more than $112 billion to the U.S. economy and helped support more than 500,000 jobs.
Rock Springs Field Office, 280 Hwy 191 N. Rock Springs, WY 82901
Link to BLM’s press release: http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/news_room/2013/november/20rsfo-atswstart.html