Too many horses and too little water. Those circumstances forced the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to relocate 237 horses from the herd grazing 160,000 acres in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area 20 miles west of Las Vegas, Nev.
The BLM used a bait and water trap to capture the Red Rock horses and they were transported to the Ridgecrest Holding Corrals in Ridgecrest, Calif. The horses were scheduled to be examined and put into the BLM’s wild horse and burro adoption program.
The growth of the Red Rock herd had strained the water and vegetation resources.
“Without emergency action, the condition of the wild horses in the Red Rock HMA is expected to deteriorate, potentially resulting in the death of horses within a few weeks,” a statement from the BLM said.
Relocation to the Ridgecrest facility has drawn some interest as that area was hit by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake on July 4, and a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit July 5 just seven miles north. The area has experienced several smaller aftershocks since.
But BLM says the decision to relocate the horses was solely about food and water, plus the Ridgecrest corral suffered very little damage from the earthquakes.
To adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit www.blm.gov/whb.