On or around January 16, 2022, the Stillwater Field Offices (SWFO) will begin a wild horse gather at the Desatoya Herd Management Area (HMA) located approximately 77 miles east of Fallon, Nevada. The Desatoya HMA encompasses approximately 161,700 acres of public and private lands. The SWFO will conduct gather operations using the helicopter-assisted method.
The SWFO plans to gather approximately 223 wild horses, remove approximately 151 wild horses, and treat and release up to 42 mares from the Desatoya HMA. The released mares will be treated with GonaCon fertility control.
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. Excessive grazing from wild horses has not only degraded the sage-grouse habitat but has also reduced the number of native grass plants in areas of the HMA, which impacts the overall availability of forage grasses within the HMA and has reduced the number of wild horses that can be supported by current range conditions. Continued heavy grazing from wild horses occurring on spring meadow systems and creeks, are adversely affecting Lahontan Cutthroat Trout which is federally listed. Removing excess animals would also enable significant progress toward achieving the Standards for Rangeland Health identified by the Sierra Front-Northwestern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council.
Members of the public are welcome to view the gather operations, provided that doing so does not jeopardize the safety of the animals, staff, contractors and observers, or disrupt gather operations. The SFFO staff will escort the public to gather observation sites.
Once gather operations have begun, those wanting to view gather operations must call the gather hotline nightly no later than 5:00 p.m. at (775) 885-6101 to RSVP. If no RSVPs are received by 5:00 p.m., no public viewing will be available the following day.
For information on how to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit www.blm.gov/whb
The total Appropriate Management Level (AML) for the Desatoya HMA is 127-180 wild horses. In October 2020, the BLM conducted an aerial flight or population inventory count and estimates the current population is approximately 278 wild horses, which includes foals born this last year. The most recent gather in this HMA was completed in 2019.
As of January 27, 2022
Animals Gathered: 200
200 Wild Horses (87 Stallions, 85 Mares, and 28 Foals)
* 9 privately-owned horses gathered on January 18, (2 Stallions and 7 Mares) have been returned to their owner and are included in the total number gathered.
Animals Shipped: 154
154 Wild Horses (84 Stallions, 42 Mares, and 28 Foals)
Animals Treated with Fertility Control: 38
38 Wild Horses (0 Stallions, 38 Mares, and 0 Foals)
GonaCon: 38 (38 Mares)
Animals Released: 2
2 Wild Horses (2 Stallions, 0 Mares)
-Sudden / Acute: 1
-Pre-existing / Chronic: 5