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Carson City District Office
Release Date: 12/06/11
Contacts: Elayn Briggs , 775-885-6170  
News Release No. CCD 2012-07

BLM Issues Decision to Gather Wild Horses and Burros from Garfield Flat and Marietta

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Carson City District, Stillwater Field Office has issued the Decision Record for the Garfield Flat and Marietta Wild Horse and Burro Gather. The BLM will gather approximately 230 wild horses and 66 wild burros. As many as 52 to 60 wild horses (depending on gather efficiency) will be released back to the range following the gather leaving 83 wild horses inside the Garfield Flat Herd Management Area (HMA) and 78 wild burros inside the Marietta HMA. The gather area is located in Mineral County, south of Hawthorne, Nevada. The Garfield Flat gather is tentatively scheduled to begin on January 22. The burro portion of the gather will occur at a later date.

The estimated population is 240 wild horses and 144 wild burros within the two HMAs where the appropriate management level (AML) is 83-125 wild horses for the Garfield Flat HMA and 78 - 104 wild burros for the Marietta HMA. Wild horse and burro numbers fluctuate based on the animals’ movement outside of HMAs in search of forage, water and space, due to the current over-population of wild horses and burros in these areas.

Of the wild horses released back to the range, approximately 26-33 mares (depending on gather efficiency) would receive a 22-month Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP-22) immunocontraceptive vaccine treatment and 50 stallions will be released back to the HMA to strive for a sex ratio adjustment of 60 percent male and 40 percent female. The goal is to slow population growth to maintain population size within the AML, and extend the time before another wild horse gather would be needed to remove excess wild horses. When the burro portion of the gather occurs, excess burros will be removed to bring the population down to 78 animals, the low end of the AML.

Removing the excess wild horses and burros will assist in achieving and maintaining a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship as required under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as well as help to achieve and maintain healthy wild horse and burro populations.

The gathered animals will be transported to the Palomino Valley Center near Reno, NV where they will be prepared for the BLM adoption program. Horses not adopted will be placed in long-term pastures where they will be humanely cared for and retain their “wild” status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The BLM does not sell or send any horses to slaughter.

The gather and impacts are described and analyzed in the EA, which is available online, click here.

The BLM will also provide updates and information at: on a regular basis throughout the course of the gather.

For more information, please contact John Axtell, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist at 775-885-6146.

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 sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Carson City District Office   5665 Morgan Mill Road      Carson City, NV 89701  

Last updated: 01-05-2012