Goal of Gather:
There are currently more than 714 wild horses in the Eagle Herd Management Area (HMA) where the appropriate management level (AML) is 100-210 wild horses; 85 wild horses in the Chokecherry HMA where the AML is 30 wild horses; and 79 wild horses in the Mt. Elinore HMA where the AML is 15-25 wild horses. The proposed gather is needed to remove approximately 748 excess wild horses to help prevent further deterioration of the range, achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance and achieve and maintain healthy wild horse populations. Of the horses remaining on the range, BLM would conduct fertility control measures on mares and/or adjust the sex ratios of the gathered animals to be returned to the HMA to 60 percent male/40 percent female ratios.
Details of the Gather:
Details of the gather are available on this website by following the links in the column to the right. The BLM also invites the public to observe the gather. Details regarding safety procedures and logistics are available.
Wild horses removed from the HMAs will be made available for adoption. Animals for which there is no adoption demand 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 BLM Color Country (Utah) District, Cedar City Field Office; and BLM Ely (Nevada) District, Schell Field Office initiated the Eagle, Chokecherry, and Mt. Elinore HMA Wild Horse Gather on Monday, Jan. 3, 2011.
The 670,000-acre Eagle HMA is located in Lincoln County, Nevada. The 38,995-acre Chokecherry and 34,047-acre Mt. Elinor HMAs are located in western Beaver and Iron counties, Utah, adjacent to the Eagle HMA. All three HMAs consist of large mountain ranges bounded by valleys. Elevations range from about 5,673 feet in the valleys to as high as 9,296 feet on Mt. Wilson.
The HMAs afford a classic Great Basin environment marked by extremes of almost every kind. Summertime temperatures can exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and winter lows can fall well below zero or lower. Precipitation in eastern Nevada and western Utah occurs mostly in the winter in the form of snow with sparse summer moisture. Summer rains are localized, short and very intense while winter/spring rains are gentler and over a wider area. Annual average precipitation varies from approximately 14 inches at the higher elevations to 8 inches or less at the lower elevations. Water sources are limited to a very few natural springs and man-made wells. There are also a few small perennial streams within the HMAs. As a result of limited water, the HMAs are prone to drought every few years.
Vegetation in the HMAs is characteristic of the Great Basin with dominant plants having evolved to survive the extremes. Typical vegetation varies according to elevation with the upper mountain slopes generally covered with stands Aspen, fir and open meadows. Through the mid elevations, pinion and juniper trees are dominant and often form closed stands which prevent other vegetation from growing. As the elevation and moisture supply falls, the vegetation shifts towards shrub dominated community. Sagebrush is the most common shrub along the pinion juniper perimeter. Sagebrush gives way to white sage, black sage, saltbrush, and other “salt Desert shrub” type communities.
Wildlife in the area includes mule deer, elk, mountain lions, coyotes, and bobcats. There are also prairie falcon, ravens, quail, starlings, and horned larks. Reptiles include many species of lizards, poisonous (rattlesnakes) and non-poisonous snakes.
For more information on the Wild Horse and Burro Program, call 866-468-7826 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.