Black Rock Field Office to conduct an emergency wild horse gather in Jackson Mountains Herd Management Area


Bureau of Land Management

BLM Office:

Black Rock Field Office

Media Contact:

Heather O’Hanlon

WINNEMUCCA, Nev. — On or around September 15, 2021, the Black Rock Field Office (BRFO) will begin a wild horse gather on the Jackson Mountains Herd Management Area (HMA) located about 56 miles west of Winnemucca in Humboldt County, Nevada. The BLM plans to gather approximately 600 wild horses, from within and outside of the Jackson Mountains HMA. The gather is expected to last 7-15 days and the BLM will conduct gather operations utilizing helicopter-assisted methods. 

The Jackson Mountains HMA encompasses over 283,775 acres of public and private lands and has a history of water issues during dry spring and summer months. The appropriate management level (AML) for the Jackson Mountains HMA is 130-217. Based on the 2021 public land stats the current estimated population is 848 wild horses which does not include the 2021 foal crop. The current population estimation puts the HMA at approximately 470 percent over the high AML.  

The purpose of the gather is critical to prevent further deteriorating body condition of the wild horses in the area due to extremely limited water sources, undue or unnecessary degradation of the public lands associated with excess wild horses, and to restore a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship on public lands, consistent with the provisions of Section 1333(b) of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The action is also necessary to reduce overpopulation of wild horses within and outside the HMAs, where there currently is not enough water and/or forage to support the number of horses in the area, and to prevent further degradation of public lands by helping to balance herd size. 

“We conduct gathers like this to ensure the health of public lands within the HMAs, as well as the health of the wild horses in the area,” said Ester McCollough, Winnemucca District Manager.  

The BLM’s priority is to conduct safe, efficient, and successful wild horse gather operations while ensuring humane care and treatment of all animals gathered. The BLM and its contractors will use the best available science and handling practices for wild horses while meeting overall gather goals and objectives in accordance with the Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy.  
All horses identified for removal will be transported to the Palomino Valley Off-Range Wild Horse and Burro  

Corrals, located in Reno, Nevada, where they will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for the BLM’s wild horse and burro Adoption and Sale Program.  

Members of the public are welcome to view the gather operations, provided that doing so does not jeopardize the safety of the animals, staff and observers, or disrupt gather operations. The BLM will escort the public to gather observation sites located on public lands. Once gather operations have begun, those wanting to view gather operations must call the gather hotline nightly at (775) 861-6700 to receive specific instructions on each days’ meeting location and time. 

The following COVID-19 guidelines rules may apply based on the State Governor’s recommendations up to: 

  • Facemasks are required for daily safety briefings and in the observation areas. 

  • Always stay at least six feet from others. Avoid gathering with others outside of your household. 

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 

  • Bring hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to use if soap and water are not available. 

  • Do not attend the gather if you are sick, recently exposed (within 14 days) to someone with COVID-19 or are not feeling well. 

The BLM is conducting the gather under the DOI-BLM-NV-W030-2012-0005-EA Jackson Mountain Wild Horse Gather Environmental Assessment decision signed on November 30, 2018. Access the Decision Record and determination of National Environmental Policy Act adequacy at  . 

Gather reports and additional information for the “2021 Jackson Mountain HMA Emergency Wild Horse Gather” will be posted on the BLM website at  For technical information, contact Garrett Swisher, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist at (775) 623-1500. 

For information on how to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit


The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.