2023 Antelope Complex-South Wild Horse Gather
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 Northeastern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council.
Details of Gather:
The BLM will utilize the services of a helicopter contractor to gather and remove up to 1,107 excess wild horses. The BLM will treat up to 15 previously treated mares in the Water Canyon area with the population suppression vaccine GonaCon Equine and release them back to the range. The mares are part of the 10-year Water Canyon Wild Horse Growth Suppression Pilot Program that provides the BLM the opportunity to determine the effectiveness of GonaCon Equine on a small group of wild horses in a controlled environment with the possibility of expanded usage in future years, depending on the program’s results. 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 July 9, 2023, weather and logistics permitting. Please review the "Know Before You Go" and "Visitation Protocol and Ground Rules" documents, located on the right-hand side of this page, before planning to attend.
All media and/or visitors wanting to attend gather operations as an observer must call the “2023 Antelope Complex-South Wild Horse Gather information hotline” at 775-861-6700 for daily meeting times. A Public Affairs Officer and/or 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 with spare tires and extra can of gas.
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. Those that are not placed into a new home will be cared for in off-range pastures, where they live off the rest of their lives on grass pastures. For information on how to adopt a wild horse, visit www.blm.gov/whb.
The Antelope and Antelope Valley Herd Management Areas (HMA)s, about 50 miles north of Ely, Nev., are in the Ely and Elko Districts on public lands administered by the Bristlecone and Wells field offices. The gather may also take place in areas outside the HMAs 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 Antelope and Antelope Valley HMAs is 2,122 wild horses, excluding the 2023 foal crop. The Antelope HMA has an Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 150-324 wild horses. The Antelope Valley HMA (east of U.S. Highway 93) has an AML of 37 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 Antelope and Triple B Complexes Gather Plan decision record and determination of National Environmental Policy Act adequacy at https://bit.ly/42rqNJF.
Access the Water Canyon Wild Horse Growth Suppression Pilot Program decision record and determination of National Environmental Policy Act adequacy at https://bit.ly/44NfVaH.
For more information on the Wild Horse and Burro Program, call 1-866-468-7826 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
As of Wednesday, July 26, 2023
Animals Gathered: 1,107
(368 Stallions, 507 Mares, 232 Foals)
Animals Shipped: 1,095
(365 Stallions, 502 Mares, 228 Foals)
Animals Treated with Fertility Control: 0
GonaCon: 0 Mares
Animals Released: 2 (1 Stallion, 1 Mare, 0 Foals)
-Sudden / Acute: 7
-Pre-existing / Chronic: 3
Scroll to the bottom of this gather page for detailed “Daily Gather Reports"