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BLM Postpones Wild Horse Roundup Due To Fire

File photo of a wild horse. The Bureau of Land Management says its annual budget will focus on controlling the wild horse population and improving sage grouse habitat.
Vince Patton / Oregon Field Guide
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File photo of a wild horse. The Bureau of Land Management says its annual budget will focus on controlling the wild horse population and improving sage grouse habitat.

A wild horse roundup in eastern Oregon has been postponed because of the Cherry Road Fire.

The plan was for the Bureau of Land Management to collect about 100 feral horses from the overpopulated herd that lives on BLM lands. But now the Cherry Road fire has burned through about 20 percent of the herd management area. BLM spokesman Larry Moore said that means even less for the wild horses to eat.

"Now that even more of the forage has been burned completely, that will likely necessitate more horses bring gathered, though at this point we can’t say for sure," said Moore.

BLM workers will survey horse habitat after the fire to gauge the next steps for the herd, but Moore says it’s likely that an emergency roundup will take place later.

Some of the collected horses were to be moved to the BLM corral facility in Hines for fertility treatment .

Wild horses and burros are protected under a 1971 law but are allowed to be removed from the range when they are overpopulated. In Oregon, BLM managers estimate herds are overpopulated by about 1,000 feral horses.

Copyright 2016 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Amanda Peacher