– On or around July 28, 2020, the Bureau of Land Management Southern Nevada District will begin an emergency wild horse gather on the Nevada Wild Horse Range Herd Management Area (HMA) located about 30 miles southeast of Tonopah in Nye County, Nevada. The action is needed due to lack of water and declining health of the wild horses associated with herd overpopulation.
The BLM plans to gather approximately 125 wild horses from within the Nevada Wild Horse Range HMA. The gather is expected to last 10-14 days. The BLM will conduct gather operations utilizing temporary water and/or bait traps consisting of a series of corral panels stocked with water and/or hay; no helicopters will be used.
The Nevada Wild Horse Range HMA encompasses over 1.3 million acres of public lands and lies entirely inside the Nevada Test and Training Range. The Appropriate Management Level (AML) for the Nevada Wild Horse Range HMA is 300-500 wild horses. As of March 1, 2020, the estimated population was 801 wild horses, which does not include additional foals born this year. The current population estimate, including the 2020 foal crop, puts the HMA at approximately 192 percent over AML.
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 extremely 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 Ian Glander, Southern Nevada District Acting District 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 Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse and Burro Corrals, located in Ridgecrest, Calif., 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 www.blm.gov/whb.
Due to the nature of the bait and water trap method, wild horses are reluctant to approach the trap site when there is too much activity. Also, the Nevada Wild Horse Range is entirely inside the Nevada Test and Training Range; therefore, only essential gather operations personnel will be allowed at the trap site during gather operations.