Horse roundup brings in nearly wild horses

FALLON - The Clan Alpine Herd Management area is nearly 200 horses smaller after the Bureau of Land Management rounded up wild horses Thursday.

Bureau spokesman Mark Struble said, "About 300 horses will remain in the area after being inoculated, freeze-marked, and all mares injected with PZP - a temporary conception regulation.'

Cattoor Livestock Roundup of Nephi, Utah, used helicopters to gather the horses from the region and drive them into temporary corrals. The contract allows the company 20 days to round up 990 horses from the area. The Clan Alpine Mountains roundup took place about 60 miles east of Fallon.

Two wild fires burned more than 7,800 acres of line the Clan Alpine area in August.

"The gather is necessary to reduce the grazing pressures on the non-burn areas in the management area," Struble said, "and to facilitate recovery of the burned areas that will be reseeded with perennial vegetation."

Struble said that reseeding efforts are expected to begin immediately. All horses will be removed from the burned area to give the new grasses a chance to sprout.

The bureau had previously planned to remove an additional 400 horses from the management area, but federal budget constraints limited the removal.

"The overall horse population of the area will stay above the appropriate management level," he said. "Additional gathers are possible in the future if additional funding becomes available."

A feature in this roundup is the use of a contraceptive vaccine. This is the first time the bureau has used the vaccine in two years.

"Considerable research has been conducted as to the effectiveness and safety of the drug PZP, which in the past has only been effective as a birth-control method for 'one shot-one year,'" Struble said.

The drug is being used as part of a research project under the supervision of major universities. The drug has been used successfully on other species such as deer, he said.


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