BLM rounds up 86 horses near Rangely

The Bureau of Land Management has wrapped up a wild-horse removal project south of Rangely after capturing 86 animals.

The agency ended the helicopter-based operation Monday.

Eighty-five of the horses were shipped to the BLM’s Cañon City holding facility and will be made available for adoption or sale. One colt that was about 4 months old was euthanized based on an on-scene veterinarian’s recommendation because it had a pre-existing severe leg injury.

No injuries or fatalities to horses resulted from the operation, which started last week.

The gather was designed to remove some of the horses that have strayed from the BLM’s Piceance-East Douglas herd management area, which is east of Colorado Highway 139, south of Colorado Highway 64 and west of Colorado Highway 13. The focus was private land in the Cathedral Creek area, where the horses have been impacting private land.

All but 20 of those removed were from that area.

“We felt that we captured what we were going to find in that area after getting five more” Monday, agency spokesman David Boyd said.

The remaining 20 were removed from an area called the North Piceance south of Highway 64, Boyd said.

No members of the public showed up during the operation, except on Sunday, when four landowners and one wild-horse activist were on scene.

The BLM had authorization to remove up to 100 horses in the operation. It occurred under the authority of a broader recent BLM decision covering horse removals from a 773,000-acre area outside the Piceance-East Douglas area. The agency had estimated about 210 horses were living in the area covered by that decision prior to the removal of the 86.

More information on the Cathedral Creek operation is at

Meanwhile, the BLM, the Sand Wash Advocate Team and the Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary are inviting volunteers to help improve the Sand Wash wild horse herd management area outside Craig as part of National Public Lands Day, Sept. 30. The work will involve fence repair and clean-up of the area.

Participants are asked to bring sunscreen, a sun hat, work gloves, fencing tools if available, a camp chair, and a dish to share. The Sand Wash Advocate Team will provide water, snacks and a barbecue lunch. Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. at the Sand Wash corrals off Colorado Highway 318. For more information, contact Aleta Wolf, 720-891-0877 or Hunter Seim, 970-826-5000.


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