2017 Fox and Lake Range Emergency Wild Horse Gather

This gather concluded November 18, 2017. 

Purpose of Gather:

Due to a recent wildfire, the BLM’s Winnemucca District’s Black Rock Field Office will begin gathering up to 200 wild horses from a portion of the Fox and Lake Range Herd Management Area. Removing wild horses is necessary due to the reduced forage available to wild horses in the unburned area and to prevent further deterioration of animal health. The gather is also necessary to reduce grazing in the affected area and provide for the recovery of the burned rangelands. The Tohakum 2 wildfire burned nearly 27,000 acres of the HMA, including an area containing two critical water sources on public lands. 

Photos of Gather Area

A foal standing in a burn patch on public lands.

A burned portion of public lands with a water development.
Three wild horses on burned public lands. A band of horses drinking on burned public lands.

Details of Gather:

The gather will take place on private land and public land administered by the BLM, about 20 miles south of Gerlach. The gather method will consist of helicopter drive trapping.  The BLM will gather approximately 200 wild horses during the gather event.  All wild horses will be the primary target for removal.  The destination holding facility is Indian Lakes Contract Facility in Fallon, Nevada.Wild Horse and Burro Logo

Public Observation on the Winnemucca District:

Members of the public are welcome to view the daily 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.  The BLM anticipates that viewing opportunities will start November 14.  Those interested in viewing gather operations must notify Jason Lutterman at (202) 304-0967 prior to the desired viewing date to be added to the attendee list and receive specific instructions on meeting times.  Participants will meet at the Love’s Gas Station, 825 Commerce Center Dr, Fernley, Nev. 89408 each day that public viewing is available. 

Participants must provide their own transportation, water and food.  The BLM recommends footwear and clothing suitable for harsh field conditions and a four-wheel drive, high clearance vehicle.  Public restrooms will not be available onsite.


Fox and Lake Range HMA has an appropriate management level of 122 to 204 adult wild horses, which is the number of wild horses the BLM has determined can exist in balance with available forage and water as well as other uses of the land.  As of March 1, the BLM estimated the population at 532 wild horses, not including foals born this year. Wild horses in the Fox and Lake Range HMA were last gathered in 2008, when a total of 238 wild horses were removed.  Currently, the estimated population is 312% of the AML. 

This gather is being conducted under an emergency decision.  The decision record and determination of National Environmental Policy Act adequacy can be accessed at the national NEPA register. For more information on the Wild Horse and Burro Program, call 1-866-468-7826 or email wildhorse@blm.gov

The Fox Range forms the western boundary while the Lake Range forms the eastern boundary with the San Emidio Desert bisecting the two mountain ranges.  Portions of the Fox and Pole Canyon Wilderness Study Areas are included within the HMA, but not the gather area.  Elevations across the valley floor range from 4,300 to 5,300 feet, while the surrounding mountain ranges vary between 8,400 and 8,700 feet.   Mean annual precipitation averages between 4 and 8 inches per year in the valley and 8 to 16 inches in the mountains.  Dominant vegetation communities are composed of basin big sagebrush, Wyoming big sagebrush, black sagebrush, white sage, shadscale, fourwing saltbrush, Indian ricegrass, and rabbitbrush.  Some pinyon-juniper woodlands are found at the upper elevations.

Gather Reports

Saturday, Nov. 18

Summary: The Fox and Lake Range Emergency Wild Horse Gather has concluded with 189 (76 Studs, 78 Mares, and 35 Foals) being the cumulative totals for horses gathered. 

Animals gathered:  37 (24 Studs, 11 Mares, and 2 Foals)
Animals shipped: 37 (24 Studs, 11 Mares, and 2 Foals)
Total Deaths Today:  0
   Acute: 0
   Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Friday, Nov. 17

Summary: Gather operations were met with cool weather and partly cloudy skies on the range. Operations continue tomorrow at the same gather location. 

Animals gathered:  56 (24 Studs, 25 Mares, and 7 Foals)
Animals shipped: 56 (24 Studs, 25 Mares, and 7 Foals)
Total Deaths Today:  0
   Acute: 0
   Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Thursday, Nov. 16

Summary: No horses were gathered today due to inclement weather. Gather operations are expected to resume tomorrow, November 17th. 

Animals gathered:  0
Animals shipped: 0
Total Deaths Today:  0
   Acute: 0
   Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Wednesday, Nov. 15

Summary: Emergency gather operations began today and proceeded smoothly in mild weather. Gather operations will continue tomorrow at a new trap site within the HMA. 

Animals gathered:  96 (28 Studs, 42 Mares, and 26 Foals)
Animals shipped:  96 (28 Studs, 42 Mares, and 26 Foals)
Total Deaths Today:  0
   Acute: 0
   Chronic/Pre-existing: 0



Official gather documents for this gather can be accessed on ePlanning here

Information Materials:

Daily Totals

Saturday, November 18

Animals Gathered:

37 (24 Studs, 11 Mares, and 2 Foals)

Animal Deaths: 



Animals Gathered

189 (76 Studs, 78 Mares, and 35 Foals)    

Animal Deaths


Adoption Information

All horses removed from the range as part of this gather will be transported to the Indian Lakes Wild Horse and Burro Off-Range Corral in Fallon, Nevada where they will be prepared for adoption. Visit our page for more information about the Wild Horse Adoption Program.

You can also go to the BLM's Facilities and Internet Adoption page- be sure to check this one out!