The Black Rock Field Office will begin a wild horse gather within the Fox - Lake Range Herd Management Area
WINNEMUCCA, Nev. – On or around December 10, 2021, the Black Rock Field Office (BRFO) will begin a wild horse gather in and around the Fox and Lake Range Herd Management Area (HMA) located in central Washoe County, approximately 60 miles north of Reno, Nevada. The Fox-Lake range consists of 172,692 acres of BLM land and 5,032 acres of a mix of private and other public lands for a total of 177,724 acres.
The BRFO plans to gather approximately 88 wild horses, remove approximately 20 excess wild horses, and treat and release approximately 40 mares from the gather area. The released mares will be treated with Gona-Con Equine fertility control. The BRFO will conduct gather operations using the helicopter-assisted method.
The total Appropriate Management Level (AML) for the Fox-Lake Range HMA is 122-204. In June, 2020, the BLM conducted an aerial flight or population inventory count where the current estimated population is 154 wild horses, which includes foals born this year. The most recent gather was completed in 2017.
The purpose of the gather is to prevent undue or unnecessary degradation of the public lands associated with excess wild horses, 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. By balancing herd size with what the land can support, the BRFO aims to address resources issues related to drought and past fire damage and protect habitat for other wildlife species such as sage grouse, pronghorn antelope and mule deer. Removing excess animals will enable significant progress toward achieving the Standards for Rangeland Health.
“The BLM’s priority is to conduct safe, efficient, and successful wild horse and burro gather operations while ensuring humane care and treatment of all animals gathered,” said Black Rock Field Office Manager, Mark Hall. “The BLM staff 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 wild horses identified for removal will be transported to the Palomino Valley Center Off-Range Wild Horse and Burro Corrals near Reno, NV, where they will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for the BLM’s wild horse and burro Adoption and Sale Program. For information on how to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit www.blm.gov/whb.
Members of the public are welcome to view the gather operations, provided that doing so does not jeopardize the safety of the animals, staff, contractors and observers, or disrupt gather operations. The BRFO staff will escort the public to gather observation sites located on public lands.
The gather staff anticipates that viewing opportunities will be limited due to logistics regarding private land, terrain, and weather. Pending the location of the trap sites, viewing opportunities are subject to change. If the traps are located on privately property, public observation will not be offered. If the traps are on public lands, public observation will be offered daily. Once gather operations have begun, those wanting to view gather operations must call the gather hotline the night before you wish to observe gather operations no later than 5:30 p.m. at (775) 861-6700 to RSVP. It is strongly advised to RSVP due to potential last minute trap site moves.
The BRFO is conducting the gather under Smoke Creek Complex Wild Horse and Burro Gather Decision Record signed in April 2018. To view the Decision Record, go to https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/92722/510 .
Gather reports and additional information for the “Fox-Lake Range Wild Horse Gather” will be posted on the website at https://www.blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro/herd-management/gathers-and-removals/black-rock-fo/2022-fox-lake. For technical information, contact Garrett Swisher, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist at 775-623-1500 or email BLM_NV_WDO_WHB@blm.gov.
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.