Spring Creek Basin HMA Model Program for Humane, In-The-Wild Management
Photo by TJ Holmes
The Spring Creek Basin Herd Management Area (HMA), located in the Disappointment Valley area of southwestern Colorado, is a great example of progress being made in the efforts to reform the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program.
Thanks in large measure to the excellent work of the National Mustang Association Colorado Chapter, an AWHPC coalition partner, in conjunction with the BLM’s Tres Rios Field Office, real change is happening here!
- Wild horses are being managed in the wild via remote darting of mares with the PZP birth control vaccine.
- No roundups are scheduled in this small HMA where removals were routine in previous years.
- Helicopter roundups will be a thing of the past when the BLM adopts its proposal to utilize bait trapping for future removals and/or PZP vaccine application, if necessary.
- Livestock grazing will be eliminated in this HMA pursuant to the new Resource Management Plan that the BLM just finalized!
This management approach used for this small and cherished herd is poised to become a national model that incorporates the elimination of livestock grazing, humane management with PZP, no use of helicopters and a public/private partnership that is allowing these wonderful wild horse to live free with their families in their home on the range. We will keep working toward the day when the BLM rolls out this approach out program-wide. For now, progress is being made! In the words of TJ Holmes, board member of the National Mustang Association Colorado Chapter and advocate for the Spring Creek Basin herd:
"We have worked hard to follow great things happening on Pryor Mountain and in Little Book Cliffs and McCullough Peaks. In turn, we want to serve as an example of what can be done positively for our treasured mustangs - local and across the West.
"We are so appreciative to everyone who commented to BLM in support of future bait trapping in Spring Creek Basin, and we especially thank AWHPC for sharing our story with mustang lovers across the country!
"Persevere advocates! Our horses are important. Our horses are worth our commitment."