VALE – The Bureau of Land Management is conducting an emergency gather of wild horses in the Jackies Butte Herd Management Area.

The Long Draw Fire, sparked by lightning July 8, burned about 75 percent of the 65,211-acre management area, where water sources already were stressed by drought this year.

The BLM said the emergency removal is needed to ensure survival of the wild horses through the coming winter and to promote soil stabilization and vegetation and habitat recovery.

Currently, the unburned portions of the Herd Management Area have limited perennial water sources. That, along with the distance to unburned forage, will take a toll on horse health.

Approximately 85 wild horses will be gathered and transported by trailer to the Burns Wild Horse Corrals.

The Jackies Butte horses will be separated by sex and retained in separate corrals.

Following vegetation recovery and rehabilitation from the Long Draw fire, these horses will be returned to the management area to bring the wild horse population to low Animal Management Level of 75 horses.

Although dependent on environmental conditions, this recovery period is generally two growing seasons. Livestock grazing will be removed for the same time period to allow for rangeland recovery.

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