BLM to begin emergency wild horse, water and bait trap gather in the Red Rock HMA


Bureau of Land Management

BLM Office:

Southern Nevada District Office

Media Contact:

2019 Red Rock HMA Emergency Gather

Photo of wild horses in the Red Rock Herd Management Area
Wild horses gather around a trough at a dried-up spring in the Red Rock Herd
Management Area. The BLM has been transporting water to the site until an
emergency gather could start.

LAS VEGAS - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Southern Nevada District will begin an emergency wild horse gather on or about July 28, 2019.  The gather will be conducted in Clark County’s Red Rock Herd Management Area, where there is currently not enough water to support the number of horses in the area. The gather will be conducted using the bait and water trap method; no helicopters will be used.  The BLM plans to gather and remove approximately 225 excess wild horses.

The purpose of the gather is to help as many horses as possible while protecting the habitat for other wildlife, including water sources and vegetation.  Without emergency action, the condition of the wild horses in the Red Rock HMA is expected to deteriorate, potentially resulting in the death of horses within a few weeks. 

Red Rock HMA encompasses nearly 162,000 acres and has an Appropriate Management Level of 16 to 27 wild horses.  With a current population of approximately 275 wild horses, valuable resources have been depleted, affecting the health of the animals.  The Red Rock HMA is over-populated and animal conditions are declining due to lack of sustainable water and degradation of range resources.

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.

Because of the nature of the bait and water gather method, wild horses are reluctant to approach the trap site when there is too much activity.  Therefore, only essential gather operation personnel will be allowed at the trap site during operations.

All horses identified for removal will be transported to Ridgecrest Holding Corrals located in Ridgecrest, California, where they will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for the BLM wild horse and burro adoption program. For information on how to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit

Gather reports and additional information will be posted on the BLM website at For more information, contact John Asselin, Public Affairs Specialist, at (702) 515-5046 or

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.