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Carson City District
Release Date: 08/09/12
Contacts: Lisa Ross , 775-885-6107 ,
News Release No. CCDO 2012-45

BLM to Begin Gathering Wild Horses from the Desatoya Mountains

Carson City, Nev. - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Carson City District, Stillwater Field Office will begin gathering horses from the Desatoya Herd Management Area (HMA) on August 16.  The BLM will gather approximately 450-525 wild horses. As many as 127 wild horses will be released back to the range following the gather.  The gather area is located approximately 70 miles east of Fallon, Nev. within Churchill and Lander counties.

Public observation opportunities will be offered each day of the gather.  If you are interested in observing the gather please call the Desatoya Gather information line at 775-885-6101 for the meeting location and time.

A population inventory conducted in July 2011 documented 543 wild horses within and 14 wild horses outside of the HMA.  It is projected that 651 horses will be in the population at the time of the gather. The Appropriate Management Level (AML) for the HMA is 127-180 wild horses.  Based on the inventory, and monitoring data showing impacts from an over-population of the HMA, the BLM has determined that removal of the excess wild horses is necessary to achieve a thriving natural ecological balance.

Of the approximate 127 wild horses released back to the range, an estimated 51 mares will receive a 22-month Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP-22) immunocontraceptive vaccine treatment prior to release. This vaccine will extend the time between gathers, and reduce the number of excess wild horses that would need to be removed in the future.  The sex ratio of the released animals will be dependent on the sex ratio of the gathered wild horses. Approximately 65 percent or more of all released wild horses would likely be stallions to achieve a 60 percent male sex ratio within the HMA (including animals not gathered).

Following the initial helicopter gather, the BLM intends to use continuous annual bait/water trapping over the next 10 years in order to administer the fertility control vaccine and remove small numbers of excess wild horses in order to achieve and/or maintain the AML range and sex ratio.

The gather will be conducted in close coordination with the Nevada Department of Agriculture’s (NDOA) Brands Division.  The NDOA brand inspectors will verify that all gathered 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 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. 

The gathered animals will be transported to the Palomino Valley Center near Reno, Nev., and the Gunnison, Utah facility where they will be prepared for the BLM adoption program. Unadopted horses will be placed in long-term pastures where they will be humanly 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.

For further information please contact Lisa Ross at 775-885-6100.

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   5665 Morgan Mill Road      Carson City, NV 89701  

Last updated: 04-14-2015