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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Nevada State Office
 
Release Date: 07/17/10
Contacts: Heather Emmons , 775-384-7966 , Heather.Emmons@blm.gov
News Release No. 2010-027

BLM Tuscarora Emergency Rescue Gather Underway


Reno, Nev. — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) gather contractor began Tuscarora emergency rescue gather operations at 6:30 a.m. today, and by 8:30 a.m. had gathered approximately 107 excess wild horses. BLM staff, specialists and on-site U.S. Department of Agriculture veterinarian are treating the animals, which are suffering from water starvation/dehydration due to a lack of water. 
 
After U.S. District Court Judge, Larry R. Hicks, Reno, Nev., issued a decision ruling on Friday, July 16 in favor of the BLM and rescinded a temporary restraining order, the BLM gather contractor immediately reinitiated gather operations, and brought in 54 wild horses, which are suffering from water starvation/dehydration.  
 
One foal among the 54 wild horses was suffering from extreme water starvation/dehydration, and was humanely euthanized this morning. The remaining 53 animals appear to be stabilizing. 
 
The gather contractor will continue to gather as conditions permit. The BLM also is conducting fixed wing aerial reconnaissance to locate the bands and document the condition of the wild horses. 
 
BLM field staff and specialists reported on Friday, July 16 that the condition of the wild horses within the Owyhee Herd Management Area is critical and declining rapidly. For horses that are already down and unable to be trailed and are not responding to the helicopter, the BLM will attempt to humanely euthanize those animals, as recommended by the Review Team in their Interim Report to BLM Director Bob Abbey. 
 
The BLM continues to haul water via water tanker to water troughs and a reservoir located within one-fourth to one-half mile of the north Owyhee horses yet only a small group have watered based on tracks in the mud. To date, the BLM has hauled more than 20,000 gallons of water. 
 
The BLM this morning shipped 75 studs to the Gunnison Prison Wild Horse Training Facility at the Central Utah Correctional Facility and 37 mares and foals to the Palomino Valley Center (PVC) regional adoption facility, located 20 miles north of Sparks. The animals shipped today were gathered on Saturday, July 10. These excess wild horses have stabilized from water starvation/dehydration, and the BLM staff, specialists and on-site veterinarian determined it was safe to transport the animals.
 
The Tuscarora gather area encompasses the Owyhee, Rock Creek, and Little Humboldt Herd Management Areas (HMAs) located in northern Elko County, Nev.  The BLM initiated gather operations within the Owyhee HMA on Saturday, July 10, and gathered 228 excess wild horses, but suspended operations on Sunday after it discovered that the wild horses had been suffering from a lack of water prior to being gathered.
 
Since gather operations began, 13 horses have died from water starvation/dehydration-related complications -- not as a result of gather-related activities.  Based on necropsies of the dead horses by the on-site veterinarian, the BLM has determined the mortalities were a direct result of a lack of water in the immediate areas occupied by the horses before they were gathered.  One horse was euthanized shortly after being gathered due to a fractured leg that occurred in the temporary holding corrals.
 
As more information becomes available it will be posted at the website: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/elko_field_office.html. For further comments and questions, the public may call 1-866-468-7826.


The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.
--BLM--

Nevada State Office   1340 Financial Blvd. Reno, NV 89502  

Last updated: 02-25-2011