On February 21, 2017, the Idaho Bureau of Land Management (BLM) publicly announced their 2017 plans to implement a hay bait trap gather in the Challis Herd Management Area. In response to countless questions and inquiries we have received we want to address this news.
Wild Love Preserve was able to curtail a 2017 helicopter roundup to instead implement a hay bait trap gather because of our collaborative work with the Challis wild horses since 2010 and continued fluid communications with the BLM and stakeholders. We have been engaged in discussions with Idaho BLM regarding this matter since last fall. This bait trap gather is in conjunction with the fourth year of our annual Native PZP-1YR collaborative management program with WLP and the Challis BLM. To note, environmental groups focused on sage grouse habitat protections are driving 2017 wild horse removals more so than livestock grazing.
2017 will be the first time a large-scale bait trap operation has been attempted with the Challis Herd. Idaho BLM's goal is to gather 150 horses, remove 50, and treat returning mares with the PZP-22 fertility control vaccine to slow population expansion and maintain herd numbers between 185-253. The current population is estimated to be 280 wild horses.
Wild Love Preserve will be engaged as it concerns humane treatment, wild horse care and well-being during the bait trap gather and process. We will also be prepared to address those Challis wild horses not adopted otherwise, as we did in 2012.
The Challis Herd Management Area encompasses 154,150 acres of public land which is home to numerous bands of the native Challis Wild Horse Herd. Past BLM helicopter roundups in 2009 resulted in the captured 366 Challis wild horses with 155 returned to the range, and in 2012, 267 Challis wild horses were captured, 150 were permanently removed, leaving approximately 185 free-roaming and wild. Wild Love Preserve was present for the 2012 BLM Helicopter Roundup of the Challis Herd and our Adoption Project adopted all available 2012 Challis wild horses to keep them together and wild on their home turf.
Wild Love's interest is in wild horses remaining wild, free and together on their native turf. We have remained diligent in our efforts and successes have come in phases, with much work yet to do, as this is a multi-faceted situation. 2017 marks the fourth year of our humane and collaborative PZP-1YR fertility management program, which has proven successful in slowing population growth. Since 2010, Wild Love Preserve has been fully engaged in collaborative population management, accountability and pro-active programs that involve all stakeholders and address the health and balance of the range and this unique indigenous ecosystem as an interconnected and balanced whole. While differing opinions are a given, mutual respect in negotiations and dealings are integral in establishing common ground.
Wild Love Preserve Programs have saved taxpayers over $7.5 million since 2012. We are privately funded by donations and grants. Read about the Wild Love Mission and for more about the Challis wild horses and herd management area, see Wild Wilds.
At this time we have a dollar-for-dollar match donation of $20,000 in motion through March, meaning your support can be doubled. If you would like to help, we are raising vital funds for wild horse operations and towards land acquisitions for our Wild Love Preserve Land Trust so that we can turn out our 135 Challis wild horses this summer and be prepared to address 2017 Challis wilds. Click here for areas where your help is of great benefit: Keeping Challis Wilds Wild
Thank you for supporting our work and continued advancements. Wild Love Preserve is a "we" project. The difference we make by coming together from our respective positions on behalf of our whole ensures positive impact today and for future generations.
Sincerely, Andrea Maki
WLP's work in New Zealand's Horsetalk Magazine: Idaho Wild Horses Spared From Helicopter Gather
Wild Love Preserve Video by Andrea Maki ©2016
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