BLM to begin Caliente Complex wild horse bait and water gather operation

Ely DO
Media Contact

CALIENTE, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management Ely District, Caliente Field Office on or around April 1 will begin a wild horse gather in the Caliente Complex. The Complex is located within a forty-mile radius of Caliente, in Lincoln County, Nevada. The BLM will conduct gather operations utilizing temporary bait and water traps consisting of a series of corral panels stocked with water/forage; no helicopters will be used.

The Caliente Complex has nine herd areas that encompass over 911,890 acres of public and private lands. The BLM manages the Complex for zero wild horses due to insufficient forage and water to sustain healthy and viable herds long-term. A helicopter survey conducted in February 2024 documented 1,022 wild horses within and directly outside the herd areas. The most recent gather was completed in 2019.

The BLM plans to gather and remove approximately 350 wild horses. The purpose of the gather is to prevent undue or unnecessary degradation of the public lands associated with excess wild horses and to restore a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship on public lands, consistent with the provisions of Section 1333(b) of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

“Gathering excess wild horses will help the BLM to restore a thriving natural ecological balance on the range and protect it from further deterioration associated with horse overpopulations, as well as protect habitat for wildlife species, including such threatened and endangered species as desert tortoise and southwestern willow flycatcher,” said Robbie McAboy, Ely District Manager. “As always, we are committed to conducting safe and humane gather operations as we work to protect animal health by bringing herd sizes down.”

The BLM’s priority is to conduct safe, efficient, and successful wild horse gather operations while ensuring humane care and treatment of all animals gathered. The BLM and its contractors are committed to using the best available science and handling practices for wild horses and burros while meeting overall gather goals and objectives in accordance with the Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program.

All animals identified for removal will be transported to the Axtell off-range corrals, in Axtell, Utah; Delta Wild Horse and Burro Facility, in Delta, Utah; and Sutherland off-range corrals, in Sutherland, Utah. Upon arrival to the facility, all animals will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for the BLM’s wild horse and burro Adoption and Sales Program

Due to the nature of the bait and water trap method, wild horses are reluctant to approach the trap site when there is too much activity; therefore, only essential gather operations personnel will be allowed at the trap site during gather operations.

The BLM is conducting the gather under the DOI-BLM-NV-L030-2017-0031-EA Caliente Herd Area Complex Wild Horse Final Environmental Assessment signed on April 27, 2018. Access the Decision Record and determination of National Environmental Policy Act adequacy at

Gather reports and additional information will be posted on the BLM website at For technical information, contact Ben Noyes, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist at (775) 289-1836 or

For information on how to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit