The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will begin a wild horse gather in the Four Mile Herd Management Area (HMA), located north of Emmett, on or about Sept. 14. The BLM will gather up to 189 excess wild horses and remove up to 173 excess horses. The BLM will treat up to eight mares with the fertility control vaccine GonaCon-Equine and release them back to the HMA. During gather operations, deputies from Payette and Washington Counties plan to temporarily close the Four Mile Road.
The last roundup in the Four Mile HMA was in 2009. This year’s roundup is expected to last as many as nine days. Hunters in the area should be aware of the operation and helicopter support that may be involved at times.
The 18,800-acre Four Mile HMA’s current population is estimated to be about 210 wild horses, including the 2020 foal crop. This is well above the high end of the Appropriate Management Level of 37 – 60 wild horses. The purpose of the gather is to prevent undue degradation of the public lands associated with wild horses, and to restore a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship on public lands, consistent with the provisions of Sections 1333(b) of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.
The BLM will conduct gather operations using the helicopter-assisted method; the priority is to conduct a safe, efficient and successful wild horse gather operation while ensuring humane care and treatment of all animals gathered. The BLM and its contractors will use the best available science and handling practices for wild horses while meeting overall gather goals and objectives in accordance with the Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy.
All horses identified for removal will be transported to the Boise BLM Wild Horse and Burro Facility where they will be checked by a veterinarian and readied or the BLM’s wild horse and burro Adoption and Sale Program.
Members of the public are welcome to view the gather operations, provided that doing so does not jeopardize the safety of the animals, staff and observers, or disrupt gather operations. Due to the topography of the area, parking space is limited. Viewing may be reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once signed up and confirmed, an e-mail with instructions including meeting time and location will be sent out. To sign up, email BLM_ID_WHG@blm.gov before Sept. 9, 2021 and be prepared to give your name, phone number, and number of people in your party.
The BLM is conducting the gather under the Four Mile Herd Management Area Wild Horse Gather Plan Environmental Assessment signed on Feb. 21, 2020. Access the Decision Record and Determination of National Environmental Policy Act adequacy at https://bit.ly/3ztj4Nb
Once the gather is underway, the BLM will post gather reports and additional information on the BLM website at https://on.doi.gov/3zHxTLB
For information on how to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit www.blm.gov/whb.