The Bureau of Land Management will begin the Emergency Flanigan HMA Wild Horse water gather


Bureau of Land Management

BLM Office:

Carson City District Office

Media Contact:

CARSON CITY, Nev. – On or around August 9, the Bureau of Land Management Carson City District, Sierra Front Field Office will begin an emergency wild horse gather on the Flanigan Herd Management Area (HMA) located about five miles west of Pyramid Lake in Washoe County, Nevada. The BLM will conduct gather operations utilizing temporary water traps consisting of a series of corral panels stocked with water; no helicopters will be used.

The Flanigan HMA encompasses 17,147 acres of public and private lands. The BLM plans to gather approximately 73 wild horses from within and outside of the Flanigan HMA. The Appropriate Management Level (AML) for the Flanigan HMA is 80-125. As of March 1, 2021, the current estimated population is 298 wild horses which does not include any foals born in 2021 – the current estimated population is over 240% over AML. The most recent gather was completed in 2012.

The purpose of the gather is due to water resources in the HMA is limited to small springs, and two creeks. During past droughts, the springs have all dried-up with the only water sources small pools in the creek beds where the horses within the HMA have obtained water. Due to the overpopulation and limited water resources within the Flanigan HMA wild horses are moving outside the HMA boundary and residing on or around private property.  The BLM has currently received two complaints regarding wild horses damaging their private property and requesting removal of these nuisance animals.

The gather is critical to ensuring the health of the HMA lands as well as the wild horses in the area, both of which are in jeopardy due to herd overpopulation and limited water sources. The emergency gather will also help prevent further degradation of the public lands, associated with excess wild horses, and help make progress toward restoring 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 BLM is committed to conducting safe and humane emergency gather operations as we work to save animal lives by reducing overpopulation and bringing herd size more in line with what the resources of the area can support,” said Marina Fennel, Acting Sierra Front Field Manager.

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 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 wild horses identified for removal will be transported to the Palomino Valley Center Off-Range Wild Horse Corrals, located in Reno, Nevada, where they will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for the BLM’s wild horse and burro Adoption and Sale Program. For information on how to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit

Due to the nature of the water trap method, wild horses are reluctant to approach the trap site when there is too much activity; therefore, only essential gather operations personnel will be allowed at the trap site during gather operations.

The BLM is conducting the gather under DOI-BLM-NV-C020-2021-0012-CX Flanigan Emergency Removal 2021Wild Horse Gather Categorical Exclusion signed on June 24, 2021. Access the Decision Record at

Gather reports and additional information for the “2021 Flanigan HMA Emergency Wild Horse Gather” will be posted on the BLM website at 2021 Flanigan HMA Nuisance Wild Horse Gather For technical information, contact John Axtell, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist at

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.