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Elko District Office
Release Date: 07/31/13
Contacts: Lesli Ellis, (775) 753-0386;    
News Release No. ELDO 2013-058

BLM to begin water trap of Wild Horses

ELKO, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Elko District, Wells Field Office will begin a wild horse water trap on Thursday, Aug. 1 with the gradual placement of corrals at Cherry Spring in the Maverick-Medicine Herd Management Area. Actual gathering of wild horses will commence once the corrals are in place and the wild horses become accustomed.

A Wild Horse Gather Information Line has been established for this gather at (775) 861-6700. A recorded message will provide information on daily gather activities and updated gather schedules. The BLM will also post daily gather reports on its website at:

Public observation will be allowed every day of the gather at a site located approximately one mile from the gather area. Maps are available at the BLM’s Elko District Office. Visitors are requested to sign up prior to arriving by calling the Gather Information Hotline (775) 861-6700 and leaving a message or calling Lesli Ellis, Elko District Public Affairs Specialist, at (775) 753-0386 (e-mail:

The contractor for this gather is Cameron D. Warner of Spanish Fork, Utah. Removed wild horses from this area will be transported to the Gunnison Correctional Facility near Gunnison, Utah, where they will be prepared for the BLM’s wild horse adoption program.

This gather operation was analyzed as part of the Three HMA Environmental Assessment released on May 13, 2013. That EA can be viewed here:

The Appropriate Management Level (AML) of wild horses within the Maverick-Medicine HMA is 166-276 wild horses and the current estimated population is 587. More than 80 wild horses have been observed frequenting Cherry Spring, which flows naturally at about 14 gallons an hour. This flow can adequately support approximately 20 wild horses.

The gather is based on limited water and/or forage availability to adequately support the current population of wild horses and on the adverse impacts to range resources being caused by wild horses concentrating on this site. Attempts were made during the 2011 Triple B Complex gather operation to reduce populations to AML and thereby relieve the pressure on areas of concentrated wild horses. This gather was completed prior to achieving appropriate AML due to vegetative cover, terrain and weather conditions.

The Elko and Ely District Offices have been monitoring water and forage resources since the completion of the 2011 gathers. Semi-weekly from June 2011 through the end of October 2012, the BLM hauled more than 150,000 gallons of water to springs in affected areas to help alleviate wild horse pressure on the springs.

Removing the excess wild horses will help to prevent further deterioration of the range in an effort to achieve a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship as required under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, and Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as well as help to achieve and maintain healthy, viable wild horse populations.

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.

Elko District Office   3900 E. Idaho St.      Elko, NV 89801  

Last updated: 04-20-2015