Skip to Content

The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

BLM issues changes for wild horse management

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

On May 9, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wyoming State Office issued a Record of Decision and approved Resource Management Plan Amendment for wild horse management across southern Wyoming, which will resolve ongoing conflicts between checkerboard-pattern private and public land sections. 

Affected HMAs

According to a May 9 BLM press release, the planning area affected by the recent Resource Management Plan Amendment encompasses approximately 2.8 million acres – of which the BLM manages over 1.9 million – and includes herd management areas (HMAs) within the BLM Rock Springs and Rawlins field offices, consisting of a checkerboard pattern of private and publics lands. 

More specifically, this includes the Adobe Town, Great Divide Basin, Salt Wells Creek and White Mountain HMAs. 

This area is associated with a 2013 consent decree made by the Rock Springs Grazing Association, which required the BLM to analyze specific wild horse management options as part of a new planning process. BLM prepared their amendment under the terms of this decree. 

“The approved plan amendment removes all checkerboard land from three HMAs,” reads the BLM press release. “As a result of this action, two of the HMAs will revert to herd area status and will be managed for zero wild horses. The third will continue to be managed as a HMA with the checkerboard lands removed.” 

BLM also notes under the amendment, appropriate management levels (AMLs) will change to 464 to 836 wild horses, a roughly 60 percent decrease from previous AMLs of 1,481 to 2,065 wild horses. 

“Population tools will be used to help manage wild horse populations and reduce the frequency of gathers,” tateBLM states. 

Final approval

Nearly a year ago, on May 6, 2022, the BLM published a final environmental impact statement (EIS) regarding this amendment and initiated a 30-day protest period. 

During those 30 days, the BLM received 26 letters of protest from various individuals and organizations. 

“After careful review of the protest points, the BLM director confirmed BLM Wyoming had followed all applicable laws, regulations and policies and considered all relevant sources of information and public input in preparing the final EIS,” reads the press release. “Further, the BLM director determined no changes to the proposed Resource Management Plan Amendment were necessary.”

A Director’s Summary Protest Resolution was prepared and published by BLM on Dec. 15, 2022 and is available at

BLM also completed a 60-day Governor’s Consistency Review period with the publication of the final EIS. 

For more information on the Record of Decision and approved Resource Management Plan Amendment, visit

Hannah Bugas is the managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

Back to top