Bureau of Land Management to begin the FY2022 Triple B Complex Wild Horse Gather


Bureau of Land Management

BLM Office:

Ely District Office

Media Contact:

ELY, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Elko District, Wells Field Office and Ely District, Bristlecone Field Office will begin a wild horse gather on or about July 14, 2022, within and outside of the Triple B Complex located in Elko and White Pine counties, about  60 miles north of Ely, Nevada. The Triple B Complex encompasses 1,608,530 acres of public and private lands.

The BLM plans to gather up to 1,900 horses and remove up to 1,800 excess wild horses. Up to 100 mares will be treated with the population suppression vaccine GonaCon and released back to the range. The BLM will conduct gather operations using the helicopter-assisted method.

“We conduct gathers like this to ensure that rangeland and wild horse health are not at risk due to herd overpopulation and severe drought conditions,” said Robbie McAboy, Ely District Manager. “We are always committed to conducting safe and humane gather operations as we work to protect animal health by bringing herd size down to AML in order to help restore a thriving natural ecological balance on the range and protect it from further deterioration associated with horse overpopulations.”

The Triple B Complex consists of the Antelope Valley (west of US Highway 93), Maverick-Medicine and Triple B Herd Management Areas (HMAs).  The combined Appropriate Management Level (AML) is 482-821 wild horses. In March 2022, the BLM conducted a simultaneous double-observer helicopter survey. The estimated population is 3,475 wild horses within and directly outside of the Complex. The current estimated population is over 4 times above the high end of established AML. 

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. Removing excess animals would also enable significant progress toward achieving the Standards for Rangeland Health identified by the Northeastern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council.

The action is also necessary to reduce overpopulation of wild horses within and outside the Complex, where there currently is not enough water and/or forage, both for short and long-term management, to support the number of horses in the area, and to prevent further degradation of public lands by helping to balance herd size.

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 and burros while meeting overall gather goals and objectives in accordance with the Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy.

All animals identified for removal will be transported to the Indian Lakes Off-Range Wild Horse and Burro Corral, in Fallon, Nev.; and Sutherland Off-Range Corrals, in Sutherland, Utah. Upon arrival to the facilities, all animals 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. Visitors to the gather must RSVP to 775-299-2645 by 5:30 p.m. the night before the intended observation date. They will receive a call back no later than 9 p.m. with the observation schedule, meeting time and location. 

The BLM is conducting the gather under the DOI-BLM-NV-E030-2017-0010-EA Antelope and Triple B Complexes Gather Plan Environmental Assessment decision signed on December 21, 2017. Access the Decision Record and determination of National Environmental Policy Act adequacy at https://go.usa.gov/xSYnE.

Gather reports and additional information will be posted on the BLM website at https://go.usa.gov/xSYNY. For technical information, contact Ben Noyes, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist at (775) 289-1800 or bnoyes@blm.gov.

For information on how to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit www.blm.gov/whb.

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.