Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Skip to content

BLM Idaho Wild Horse and Burro Herd Management Area Poly

Metadata Updated: February 9, 2024

This data shows wild horse and burro herd areas in Idaho. Wild horses are managed in accordance with the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971, which gives the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) responsibility to protect wild horses while ensuring their populations are in balance with the ecological capacity of public lands. This data set contains nine herd areas (HA). Five herd areas are located in the Boise District, one HA is located in the Twin Falls District and three HAs are located in the the Idaho Falls District. All of Idaho's herd areas are managed for wild horses; there are no burros. A campaign started in the 1950's to protect wild horses and burros led to aerial flight surveys in 1971 to determine where wild horses and burros occurred. On Dec. 18, 1971, Congress passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. At that time, wild horses and burros were found roaming across 53.8 million acres of Herd Areas, of which 42.4 million acres were under the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) jurisdiction. Herd Areas were carried forward in land use plans and determinations were made as to whether or not to manage animals on these federal lands. Today the BLM manages wild horses and burros in 179 subsets of these Herd Areas (known as Herd Management Areas) that comprise 31.6 million acres, of which 26.9 million acres are under BLM management. No specific amount of acreage was “set aside” for the exclusive use of wild horses and burros under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The Act directed the BLM to determine the areas where horses and burros were found roaming and to manage them "in a manner that is designed to achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands." The law also stipulated in Section 1339 that "Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize the [Interior] Secretary to relocate wild free-roaming horses or burros to areas of the public lands where they do not presently exist." Of the 22.2 million acres no longer managed for wild horse and burro use 6.7 million acres were never under BLM management. Of the 15.5 million other acres of land under BLM management (numbers current as of July 25, 2011): 48.6 percent (7,522,100 acres) were intermingled ("checkerboard") land ownerships or areas where water was not owned or controlled by the BLM, which made management infeasible; 13.5 percent (2,091,709 acres) were lands transferred out of the BLM's ownership to other agencies, both Federal and state through legislation or exchange; 10.6 percent (1,645,758 acres) were lands where there were substantial conflicts with other resource values (such as the need to protect habitat for desert tortoise); 9.7 percent (1,512,179 acres) were lands removed from wild horse and burro use through court decisions; urban expansion; highway fencing (causing habitat fragmentation); and land withdrawals; 9.6 percent (1,485,068 acres) were lands where no BLM animals were present at the time of the passage of the 1971 Act or places where all animals were claimed as private property. These lands in future land-use plans will be subtracted from the BLM totals as they should never have been designated as lands where herds were found roaming; and 8.0 percent (1,240,894 acres) were lands where a critical habitat component (such as winter range) was missing, making the land unsuitable for wild horse and burro use, or areas that had too few animals to allow for effective management. Since Herd Area boundaries were set by Congress they will not be updated. For more information contact us at

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: us-pd

Downloads & Resources


Metadata Created Date June 1, 2023
Metadata Updated Date February 9, 2024

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOI EDI

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date June 1, 2023
Metadata Updated Date February 9, 2024
Publisher Bureau of Land Management
Data First Published 2022-07-13T08:06:34Z
Data Last Modified 2022-07-13T20:08:29.59Z
Category geospatial
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 010:04
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Harvest Object Id fb528f42-cdc1-4ca8-9609-f5fa70df6814
Harvest Source Id 52bfcc16-6e15-478f-809a-b1bc76f1aeda
Harvest Source Title DOI EDI
Homepage URL
Metadata Type geospatial
Old Spatial -116.99,42.6206,-113.9731,44.464
Program Code 010:000
Publisher Hierarchy White House > U.S. Department of the Interior > Bureau of Land Management
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 50b7fae7597895fa6348a7afc6c60be693296e0f57407f426f30e06c3aeae2d8
Source Schema Version 1.1
Spatial {"type": "Polygon", "coordinates": -116.99, 42.6206, -116.99, 44.464, -113.9731, 44.464, -113.9731, 42.6206, -116.99, 42.6206}

Didn't find what you're looking for? Suggest a dataset here.