In 1971, wild horses and burros were found roaming across 53.8 million acres of Herd Areas (HAs), of which 42.4 million acres were under the BLM's jurisdiction. Today the BLM manages wild horses and burros in subsets of these HAs, known as Herd Management Areas (HMAs) that comprise 31.6 million acres, of which 26.9 million acres are under BLM management.
The Humboldt HA is located approximately 30 miles south of Winnemucca, Nevada and extends along the east side of Interstate 80 to Lovelock, Nevada. The Humboldt HA was not designated for the long term management of the wild horses in the Sonoma-Gerlach Management Framework Plan (SG-MFP) due to the checkerboard land pattern found within the HA and therefore, is not managed for wild horses and burros.
The gather area is comprised of 431,544 acres of both private and public lands. The wild horse population within the Humboldt HA is estimated to be 282 animals. The exact origin of these wild horses has not been determined. However, some animals may have been missed in the initial gather to remove wild horses from the area in 1985. Other wild horses may have migrated into the Humboldt HA from adjacent Herd Management Areas (HMAs). Removing these wild horses will help to prevent further deterioration of the range in an effort to achieve a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship as required under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, and Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as well as help to achieve and maintain healthy, viable wild horse populations.