Cross-posted from Magic Valley News
Written by LAURA LUNDQUIST
Wild horses tend toward the open range, but sometimes they aren’t allowed to stay there, stirring public debate of how best to remove them and where to put the displaced herds.
Wild horse advocates await the delayed Bureau of Land Management release of a possible change to how herds are managed. The BLM requested in June — and was deluged by — public input to new management proposals Interior Secretary Ken Salazar brought forth in late 2009 to take control of an unsustainable program. They included establishing wild horse preserves to be populated with non-reproducing horses and using fertility control to avoid overpopulation.
With no change yet, herds are still managed according to rigid and sometimes expensive methods. The expense arises when herds, like the Saylor Creek herd that roamed near Hagerman, are removed from the range.
The 190-head herd was rounded up and moved in August, after the Long Butte Fire destroyed its habitat.
Spokeswoman Jessica Gardetto said the BLM is keeping the horses in Boise corrals at a short-term, daily rate of around $5.50 per horse while the Jarbidge Field Office finishes an environmental assessment of the herd area.