BLM releases mares into Twin Peaks Herd Management Area

The Bureau of Land Management plans to release 35 wild mares back into the Twin Peaks herd management area northeast of Susanville on Wednesday, Nov.16, weather and back country road conditions permitting. Earlier this year, the BLM released 46 mules back into the herd management area that had been captured during the summer gather.

The mares were gathered from the Twin Peaks herd management area last summer when 1,996 wild horses and 339 wild burros were removed from the range to maintain wild populations at sustainable levels. The BLM is returning the mares to the range to help maintain herd viability.

The mares have been treated with a fertility control drug to slow growth of wild populations. Fertility control prevents mares from conceiving a foal and is effective for two or more years.

The Twin Peaks herd management area covers nearly 800,000 acres of mostly BLM-managed public lands. An aerial census and statistical verification conducted prior to last summer’s gather showed there were approximately 3,300 wild horses and 400 wild burros in the HMA. The appropriate management level, the number of wild horses and burros the land can sustain in balance with other uses, is 448 to 758 wild horses and 72 to 116 wild burros.

Wild horses and burros are protected on BLM-managed lands by the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, a federal law. The law requires the BLM to determine population levels that allow wild herds to thrive in balance with other range users including wildlife and livestock and to remove animals in excess of that population.