Bureau of Land Management to begin the FY23 Antelope Complex-North Wild Horse Gather


Bureau of Land Management

BLM Office:

Elko District Office

Media Contact:

ELKO, Nev. – On or about July 9, 2023, the Elko Bureau of Land Management plans to begin a wild horse gather in and around the Antelope Valley HMA (northwest of Alt, U.S. Highway 93), Goshute and Spruce-Pequop Herd Management Areas (HMA)s located southeast of Elko, Nev., using the helicopter-assisted method.

The Antelope North HMAs encompass over 852,340 acres of public and private lands. The Goshute HMA has an Appropriate Management Level of 73-124 wild horses. The Spruce Pequop HMA has an AML of 57-82 wild horses and the Antelope Valley HMA has an AML of 155-259. The March 2023 estimated population is 6,852 wild horses within and directly outside the management areas – nearly fourteen-times above the low end of the established management level. The BLM plans to gather and remove approximately 2,000 excess wild horses from the Antelope Valley (west of Alt. U.S. Hwy 93), Goshute and Spruce Pequop Herd Management Areas (HMA)s.

The purpose of the gather 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-use relationship on public lands, consistent with the provisions of Section 1333(b) of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

We conduct gathers like this to ensure that rangeland and wild horse health are not at risk due to herd overpopulation,” said Gerald Dixon, Elko District Manager. “We are 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.

By balancing herd size with what the land can support, the BLM aims to protect habitat for other wildlife species such as sage grouse, pronghorn antelope, mule deer and elk. Removing excess wild horses and burros supports significant progress toward achieving the Standards for Rangeland Health identified by the Northeastern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council.

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. The BLM and its contractors are committed to using 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 Program.

All animals identified for removal will be transported to the Indian Lakes Facility, Fallon, Nev. 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-E030-2017-0010-EA Antelope and Triple B Complexes Gather Plan Environmental Assessment decision signed on December 21, 2017. Access the Decision Record and the Environmental Assessment at  https://bit.ly/42rqNJF

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/2023-antelope-north-wild. For technical information, contact Bruce Thompson, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist at (775) 753-0286 or by email at b50thomp@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.