Bureau of Land Management to begin the FY2024 Moriah Herd Area Wild Horse Gather


Bureau of Land Management

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Bristlecone Field Office

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ELY, Nev. – On or about October 16, 2023, the Bureau of Land Management plans to begin a wild horse gather in and around the Moriah Herd Area (HA) located near Ely, Nev., using the helicopter-assisted method.

The Moriah HA encompasses 53,312 acres of public and private lands. Under the 2008 Ely District Record of Decision and Approved Resource Management Plan, the Moriah HA is managed for zero wild horses due to insufficient habitat to support wild horses. The current population is estimated to be 550 wild horses. Most of the horses reside outside the HA boundary, including 135 horses that are on private property.

“Our goal is to manage for healthy public lands and healthy wild horses,” said Robbie McAboy, Ely District Manager. “The Moriah Herd Area lacks the resources necessary to sustain healthy wild horse populations year-round. As a result, the horses are moving outside the Herd Area boundary.” 

The BLM plans to gather and remove approximately 400 excess wild horses from in and outside the HA. The purpose of the gather is to remove all excess wild horses from areas not designated for or suitable to their long-term management and prevent further degradation of public lands. The gather is necessary to improve watershed health, protect wild horse health, and make significant progress towards achieving Northeastern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council Standards for Rangeland Health.

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 are committed to using the best available science and handling practices for wild horses while meeting overall gather goals and objectives in accordance with the Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program.

All animals identified for removal will be transported to the Sutherland Off-Range Corrals in Sutherland, Utah. Upon arrival to the facility, all animals will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for the BLM’s wild horse and burro Adoption and Sales 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. Once gather operations have begun, those wanting to view gather operations must call the gather hotline nightly at (775) 861-6700 to receive specific instructions on each days’ meeting location and time.

The BLM is conducting the gather under the DOI-BLM-NV-L060-2020-010-EA Moriah Herd Area Wild Horse Gather Plan Environmental Assessment decision signed on October 22, 2020. Access the Decision Record and determination of National Environmental Policy Act adequacy at https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2000350/510.

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-ely-do/2024-moriah-herd. 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.