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Ely District Office
Release Date: 09/13/10
Contacts: Chris Hanefeld , 775-289-1842 ,
News Release No. 2010-55

BLM to Conduct Silver King Wild Horse Gather

Ely, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ely District, Caliente and Schell field offices are scheduled to begin the Silver King wild horse gather on or about September 19.  The gather is expected to last approximately two weeks. The BLM will remove about 546 excess wild horses located in and around the Silver King Herd Management Area (HMA) in Lincoln County, about 90 miles south of Ely, Nev.

The BLM estimates there are more than 600 wild horses in the gather area and any horses gathered above targeted removal numbers will be released back to the HMA so that the remaining population is within the appropriate management level (AML) range of 60-128. The mares released back to the range would be vaccinated with PZP-22 (Porcine Zona Pellucida) fertility control vaccine.

The gather, removal and fertility control are intended to slow population growth, maintain population size within the appropriate management levels and extend the time before another gather to remove excess wild horses would be needed.  Additionally, adjustment of sex ratios of the gathered animals to be returned to the HMAs may be made to 60 percent male/40 percent female ratios. The Caliente and Schell field offices issued the Decision Record for the Final Environmental Assessment for the Silver King Herd Management Area Gather Plan on June 30.

The BLM has tentatively scheduled two observation days - Tuesday, Sept. 21 and Tuesday, Sept. 28 - to provide the media and public opportunities to view gather activities.  The dates are subject to change depending upon weather and gather operations. These will be the only two observation days offered for this gather based on gather site location accessibility.  For more information or to sign up, call Chelsey Falge, BLM Ely District administrative clerk, at (775) 289-1800.  The BLM will also regularly post gather information on its website at:

The BLM coordinates closely with the Nevada Department of Agriculture’s (NDOA) Brands Division to provide Brand Inspectors during wild horse removal efforts across the State. NDOA brand inspectors must verify the animals are wild horses and burros as defined by the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. 

Once verified, the Brand Inspector will provide the BLM a certificate to transport the animals. Without this cooperation and coordination, the BLM would not be able to remove the excess wild horses and burros which, if not removed in a timely manner, would result in degradation of our native rangelands.  The NDOA also may take jurisdiction of any estray, branded or abandoned domestic horse(s) under the State of Nevada estray laws.

Gathered horses will be transported to the Palomino Valley Center outside Reno, Nev. and Delta Wild Horse Corrals in Delta, Utah. The public may visit the Palomino Valley Center during its regularly scheduled visiting hours Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to noon.  The Delta Wild Horse Corrals are open to the public Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The BLM will use helicopters to gather the wild horses and will transport the animals by motorized vehicles. The use of helicopters, which is authorized by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, has proven to be a safe, effective, and practical means for gathering excess wild horses from the public lands, and large scale geographic areas such as the Silver King gather area.

Horses removed from the range will be offered for adoption to qualified individuals. Unadopted horses will be placed in long-term pastures where they will be humanely cared for and treated, and will 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 Silver King Herd Management Area Gather Plan Final Environmental Assessment (EA). The EA, a video about the gather and other gather-related information are posted on the BLM website at:

For more information, please call Chris Hanefeld, BLM Ely District public affairs specialist, at 775-289-1842.

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.

Ely District Office   702 North Industrial Way      Ely, NV 89301  

Last updated: 09-15-2010