2024 Moriah Herd Area Wild Horse Gather
Purpose of Gather:
The purpose of the gather is to remove all excess wild horses from areas not designated for or suitable to their long-term management and prevent further degradation of public lands. In the 2008 Ely Resource Management Plan, the BLM decided to manage this area for zero wild horses as it no longer met the criteria for maintaining a thriving ecological balance with multiple uses as authorized under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976. The gather is necessary to improve watershed health, protect wild horse health, and make significant progress towards achieving Northeastern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council Standards for Rangeland Health.
Details of Gather:
The BLM will utilize the services of a helicopter contractor to gather and remove up to 400 excess wild horses. The gather may also take place in areas outside the HA where wild horses have moved in search of food and water. 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 October 17, 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 “2024 Moriah Herd Area 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 Sutherland Off-Range Corrals, in Sutherland, Utah, 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 Moriah Herd Area (HA), about 48 miles northeast of Ely, Nev., is in the Ely District on public lands administered by the Bristlecone Field Office.
The Moriah HA is typical of the Great Basin region, characterized by valleys and long, narrow steep mountain peaks covered with heavy pinyon-juniper woodlands. Elevations within the area range from approximately 5,000 feet to 10,200 feet.
Vegetation in the HA consists primarily of brush, fir and mountain mahogany in the higher elevations, pinion-juniper and sagebrush on the lower mountain slopes and white sage, black sage, saltbush and other “salt desert shrub” type communities on the valley floors.
Precipitation normally ranges from approximately five to seven inches on the valley bottoms to 16 to 18 inches on the mountain peaks. Most of this precipitation comes in the form of snow occurring primarily in the winter and spring with the summers being quite dry. Temperatures range from greater than 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months to minus 15 degrees or colder in the mountains in the winter.
The current population estimate for the Moriah HA is 550 wild horses, excluding the 2023 foal crop. AML in the HA is zero 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 Moriah Herd Area Gather Plan decision record and determination of National Environmental Policy Act adequacy at https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2000350/510.
For more information on the Wild Horse and Burro Program, call 1-866-468-7826 or email email@example.com
As of Oct. 23
Animals Gathered: 441 (137 Stallions, 204 Mares, and 100 Foals)
Animals Shipped: 439 (135 Stallions, 204 Mares, and 100 Foals)
Animals Released: 0 (0 Stallions, 0 Mares, and 0 Foals)
-Sudden / Acute: 1
-Pre-existing / Chronic: 1
Scroll to the bottom of this gather page for detailed “Daily Gather Reports"