The Bureau of Land Management will begin the Meadow Valley Mountains-Delamar Mountains HA emergency wild horse gather


Bureau of Land Management

BLM Office:

Caliente Field Office

Media Contact:

ELY, Nev. – On or around December 6, the Bureau of Land Management Ely District Office, Caliente Field Office will begin an emergency wild horse gather on the Meadow Valley Mountains and Delamar Mountains Herd Areas (HAs) about 20 miles southwest of Caliente in Lincoln County, Nevada. The action is needed due to a lack of forage and water and declining health of the wild horses associated with significant wildfires and herd overpopulation. 

The BLM plans to gather and remove approximately 414 wild horses from areas in and around the Meadow Valley Mountains and Delamar Mountains HAs. The gather is expected to last approximately 16 days. The BLM will conduct gather operations utilizing the helicopter-assisted method.

The Meadow Valley Mountains HA encompasses approximately 94,521 acres of BLM-administered lands. The Delamar Mountains HA consists of approximately 183,558 acres of BLM-administered lands. The Meadow Valley Mountains and Delamar Mountains HAs lack sufficient habitat requirements to support a healthy year-round horse population.  The BLM reduced the status of the Meadow Valley Mountains and Delamar Mountains from Herd Management Area to Herd Area in the 2008 Ely Resource Management Plan and manage the HAs for “0” wild horses. The current population estimate in the Meadow Valley Mountains HA is 216 wild horses. The current population estimate in the Delamar Mountains HA is 198 wild horses. In July 2020, the Meadow Valley Fire burned approximately 59,265 acres, impacting 60-percent of the Meadow Valley Mountains HA and a small portion of the Delamar Mountains HA.  The Stewart Canyon and Bishop Fires burned approximately 25,729 acres or 14-percent of the Delamar Mountains HA.

The gather is critical to prevent further deteriorating body condition of the wild horses in the area due to extremely limited water sources, 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.

“This gather is critical to ensuring rangeland health, as well as the health of the wild horses, which are at risk due to overpopulation and severe drought conditions,” said Shirley Johnson, Acting Caliente 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 Bruneau Off-Range Wild Horse Corrals, in Bruneau, Idaho, 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

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 following COVID-19 guidelines will apply:

  • Facemasks are required for daily safety briefings and in the observation areas.
  • Always stay at least six feet from others. Avoid gathering with others outside of your household.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Bring hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to use if soap and water are not available.
  • Do not attend the gather if you are sick, recently exposed (within 14 days) to someone with COVID-19 or are not feeling well.

The BLM is conducting the gather under the DOI-BLM-NV-L030-2017-0031-EA Caliente Herd Area Complex Wild Horse Final Environmental Assessment signed April 27, 2018.  Access the Decision Record and Environmental Assessment at

Gather reports and additional information will be posted on the BLM website at For technical information, contact Tyler Reese, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist at (775) 726-8137 or

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.