BLM to conduct wild horse gather in eastern Nevada

ELY, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management expects to begin a helicopter-conducted wild horse gather on or about November 26, 2018 within and outside the overpopulated Silver King Herd Management Area (HMA) in eastern Nevada which is currently over 10-times above the land’s capacity to support wild horses along with the other wildlife long term. The BLM plans to gather and remove up to 980 excess wild horses.

The BLM Ely District, Caliente Field Office is conducting the gather operation, which is expected to last approximately 21 days.  The Silver King HMA is located in the BLM Ely District on public lands administered by the Caliente Field Office. The gather may also take place in areas outside the HMA where wild horses have moved in search of food and water, creating a public safety hazard. Approximately 244 wild horses will remain in the HMA once the gather is completed.

The purpose of the operation is to prevent undue or unnecessary degradation of the public lands associated with excess wild horses, and to restore a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-uses relationship on public lands, consistent with the provisions of Section 1333(b) of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. Removing excess animals would also enable significant progress toward achieving the Standards for Rangeland Health identified by the Mojave-Southern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council.

The current population estimate for the Silver King HMA is approximately 1,224 wild horses, which includes the 2018 foal crop. The Appropriate Management Level (AML) for Silver King is 60-128 wild horses.  AML is the level at which wild horse populations are consistent with the land’s capacity to support them and other mandated uses of those lands, including protecting ecological processes and habitat for wildlife and livestock.

All horses identified for removal will be transported to the Indian Lakes Off-Range Wild Horse and Burro Corrals in Fallon, Nevada, where they will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for the BLM’s wild horse and burro adoption program. 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 our overall gather goals and objectives in accordance with current BLM policy, standard operating procedures, and contract requirements.

Members of the public are welcome to view the daily gather operations, provided that it does not jeopardize the safety of the animals, staff or observers and that it does not disrupt gather operations.  The BLM will escort the public to gather observation sites located on public lands.  The BLM anticipates that viewing opportunities will begin on or about November 26, 2018, weather and logistics permitting.  Those wanting to view gather operations are asked to notify Public Affairs Specialist Chris Hanefeld at (775) 289-1800 prior to the desired viewing date to be added to the attendee list and to receive specific instructions on meeting locations and times.

The BLM is conducting the gather under the DOI-BLM-NV-L000-2017-0005-EA Silver King HMA Gather Plan Environmental Assessment decision signed on November 8, 2017.  Access the Decision Record and determination of National Environmental Policy Act adequacy at

Once the gather is underway, the BLM will post gather reports and additional information on its website at  For technical information, contact Wild Horse and Burro Specialist, Ben Noyes, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist at (775) 289-1836 or

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 the 11 Western states and Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals.

Release Date


Bureau of Land Management


Caliente Field Office


Chris Hanefeld