CHALLIS, Idaho (KLIX)-More than 300 wild horses will be gathered by federal officials near the central Idaho community of Challis beginning the first week of November.

The Bureau of Land Management announced plans to reduce the Challis Herd Management Area starting on November 5, and lasting more than a week by using a helicopter to round up about 365 horses. BLM will remove about 244 horses from the area and leave about 185 to balance the herd size with mares that will be treated with fertility control.

Officials estimate there are a total of about 429 wild horses in and around the Herd Management Area, which itself is 168,700 acres. The BLM says the gather will help protect habitat for sage grouse, pronghorn and other large game. The horses that are removed will be taken to the Bruneau Wild Horse Off-Range Corral facility and put up for adoption.

The public will be allowed to observe the gather operation, but they will need to go prepared with appropriate clothing, food and water, and know that public restrooms will not be available. BLM asks that anyone wanting to watch to call ahead of time at (208) 879-6271 no later than Nov. 2 , spectators will be escorted in.

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