Bureau of Land Management to begin the FY2024 East Pershing Complex Wild Horse Gather


Bureau of Land Management

BLM Office:

Humboldt Field Office

Media Contact:

WINNEMUCCA, Nev. – On or about December 28, 2023, the Humboldt River Field Office will begin a wild horse gather on and around the East Pershing Complex (Complex) located in Pershing, Humboldt, Churchill and Lander Counties in Nevada. The BLM will conduct gather operations using the helicopter-assisted method to work towards achieving the appropriate management level (AML) in the complex.

The Complex includes three Herd Management Areas and four Herd Areas which encompasses over 2 million acres of private and public lands. The Herd Management areas include; Augusta Mountains, North Stillwater, and the Tobin Range. The Herd Areas include Augusta Mountains, East Range, Humboldt, and the Sonoma Range. The Complex has an Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 345-555 wild horses. A helicopter survey conducted in March 2023 documented 3,375 wild horses within the Complex, which is 6-times above the high end of the established AML

The BLM plans to gather and remove approximately 2,875 excess wild horses. There will be no population suppression fertility control.

The purpose of the gather is to achieve AML, prevent undue or unnecessary degradation of the public lands associated with excess wild horses, and 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. The action is also necessary because there currently is not enough water and forage to support the number of horses in the area.

By balancing herd size with what the land can support, the staff aims to prioritize habitat for the Greater Sage Grouse yet also be proactive to protecting the future habitat for other wildlife including Bighorn Sheep, Mule Deer and Pronghorn Antelope. Removing excess wild horses would also enable significant progress toward achieving the Standards for Rangeland Health.

 “Gathers like this are conducted to ensure the health of public lands, as well as the health of the wild horses in and around the Complex. Herd overpopulation and severe drought conditions have cumulative impacts on public lands, including wild horse health that must be mitigated,” said Chris Mitchell, Humboldt River Field Office Manager. “As always, we are committed to conducting safe and humane gather operations as we work to protect animal health by bringing herd size down to AML to restore a thriving natural ecological balance to public lands, and from further deterioration associated with overpopulation.”

District staff and the 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 animals identified for removal will be transported to the Winnemucca Off-Range Corrals, located in Paradise Valley, Nevada. Upon arrival to the facility, all animals will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for the agency’s wild horse 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 staff 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 (775) 623-1567 by 5 P.M. the night before you wish to observe gather operations to receive specific instructions on each days’ meeting location and time.

The BLM is conducting the gather under the DOI-BLM- NV- W010-2017-0009-EA East Pershing Complex Gather Plan Environmental Assessment decision signed on February 1, 2018. Access the Decision Record and determination of National Environmental Policy Act adequacy at https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/79301/510 . Gather reports and additional information will be posted on the BLM website at https://www.blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro/herd-management/gathers-and-removals/nevada/fy-2024-east-pershing .

For technical information, contact Morgan Weigand, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist at (775) 623-1500.

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 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.