The Bureau of Land Management’s Ely District, Caliente Field Office concluded the wild horse gather on Feb. 16, 2021.
2021 SILVER KING HERD MANAGEMENT AREA WILD HORSE GATHER
The Bureau of Land Management Ely District, Caliente Field Office began on February 7, 2021, gathering and removing excess wild horses from in and around the Silver King Herd Management Area (HMA) located in Lincoln County, about 50 miles southeast of Ely, Nev.
Purpose of Gather:
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. Removing excess animals would also enable significant progress toward achieving the Standards for Rangeland Health identified by the Mojave-Southern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council.
Details of Gather:
The BLM will utilize the services of a helicopter contractor to gather up to 283 excess wild horses and remove up to 258 excess horses. The BLM will treat up to 25 mares with the fertility control vaccine GonaCon-Equine and release them back into the HMA. Appropriate Management Level for the HMA is 60-128 wild horses. During the gather, the BLM will collect information on herd characteristics and determine herd health.
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 anticipates that viewing opportunities will begin on or about February 6, 2021, weather and logistics permitting. Please review the "Know Before You Go" and "Visitation Protocol and Ground Rules" documents, located on the lower right had side of this page, before planning to attend.
All media and/or visitors wanting to attend gather operations as an observer must call the “2021 Silver King HMA Wild Horse Gather information hotline” at 775-861-6700 for daily meeting times and locations. The hotline will be updated nightly, by 8:00pm PST with information about the following day's activities. A Public Affairs Officer and a Law Enforcement Officer will meet the public each morning at the pre-determined meeting location, to escort the group to and from the gather observation and/or holding sites. Observers must provide their own transportation. The BLM recommends a four-wheel drive, high clearance vehicle.
It may be necessary to limit the number of observers in an effort to allow for “Social Distancing”. The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. We continue to work closely with the Department of the Interior and follow CDC guidance to ensure public and employee spaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.
The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating on public lands prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.
When visiting public lands, the public should follow local area health orders including Governor Sisolak’s standards for individuals, businesses and employers, practice Leave No Trace principles, practice social distancing and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.
All horses identified for removal will be transported to the Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Center in Reno, Nev., where they will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for the BLM’s wild horse and burro adoption program. For information on how to adopt a wild horse, visit www.blm.gov/whb.
The Silver King HMA is in the Ely District on public lands administered by the Caliente Field Office. The gather may also take place in areas outside the HMA where wild horses have moved in search of food and water and are creating a public safety hazard by traveling across roads and highways.
The current population estimate for the Silver King HMA is approximately 343 wild horses, including the 2020 foal crop. Appropriate Management Level is 60-128 wild horses. AML is the level at which wild horse populations are consistent with the land’s capacity to support them and other mandated uses of those lands, including protecting ecological processes and habitat for other resources.
Access the decision record and determination of National Environmental Policy Act adequacy at https://go.usa.gov/x7GgW. For more information on the Wild Horse and Burro Program, call 1-866-468-7826 or email firstname.lastname@example.org