BLM to conduct Desatoya Herd Management Area wild horse gather


Bureau of Land Management

BLM Office:

Stillwater Field Office

Media Contact:

CARSON CITY, Nev. – On or around January 16, 2022, the Stillwater Field Offices (SWFO) will begin a wild horse gather on and around the Desatoya Herd Management Area (HMA) located approximately 77 miles east of Fallon, Nevada. The Desatoya HMA encompasses approximately 161,700 acres of public and private lands. The SWFO will conduct gather operations using the helicopter-assisted method.

The SWFO plans to gather approximately 223 wild horses, remove approximately 150 excess wild horses, and release up to 43 mares and 30 stallions from the Desatoya HMA. The released mares will be treated with GonaCon fertility control.

The total Appropriate Management Level (AML) for the Desatoya HMA is 127-180 wild horses. On March 1, 2021, the BLM estimated the population of wild horses at 277 wild horses, which includes foals born in 2021. The most recent gather in this HMA was completed in 2019.

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 SWFO aims to address resources issues related to drought 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 Stillwater Field Office Manager, Jake Vialpando. “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 horses identified for removal will be transported to the Palomino Valley Center 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. For information on how to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit

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 no later than 5:00 p.m. at (775) 885-6101 to RSVP. If no RSVPs are received by 5:00 p.m., no public viewing will be available the following day.

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 SWFO is conducting the gather under the Desatoya Herd Management Area Wild Horse Gather Plan Environmental Assessment signed in April of 2021. To view the Decision Record, go to 

Gather reports and additional information for the “FY2022 Desatoya Wild Horse Gather” will be posted on the BLM website at For technical information, call 775-885-6146 or email

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.