The gather has concluded - The Bureau of Land Management’s Winnemucca District, Black Rock Field Office wild horse emergency bait and water trap gather ran from July 4-15, 2020.
2020 Jackson Mountain Emergency Wild Horse Gather
Purpose of Gather:
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Winnemucca District, Black Rock Field Office began an emergency wild horse gather on July 4, 2020 in the Jackson Mountains Herd Management Area (HMA) located about 40 miles west of Winnemucca in Humboldt County, Nevada. In addition, gather operations will take place in areas outside the HMA where wild horses have moved in search of food and water. The action is needed due to lack of water and declining health of the wild horses - the Jackson Mountains HMA has a history of water issues during dry spring and summer months.
All horses identified for removal will be transported to the Indian Lakes Off-Range Corral, located in Fallon, Nev., where they will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for the BLM’s wild horse and burro Adoption and Sale Program.
Details of Gather:
The BLM will conduct gather operations by using temporary water and bait traps consisting of a series of corral panels stocked with water and hay; no helicopters will be used. The BLM plans to gather and remove approximately 300 excess wild horses, once gather operations are completed, approximately 750 wild horses will remain in the HMA. The gather is expected to last approximately 45-60 days.
As of March 1, 2020, the population of wild horses in the Jackson Mountains HMA, was estimated at 990 which does not include the 2020 foal crop – this is approximately 456% above the appropriate management level (AML) of 130-217 wild horses.
The purpose of the gather is critical to prevent further deteriorating body condition of the wild horses in the area due to extremely limited water sources, 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.
The Jackson Mountains HMA is managed within the Winnemucca District Office, by the Black Rock Field Office. The HMA is located about 40 miles west of Winnemucca in central Humboldt County, Nevada. The area is bordered on the west by the Black Rock Desert, on the east by Desert Valley, on the north by State Highway 140 and the Quinn River, and on the south by the Union Pacific Railroad.
The Jackson Mountains HMA encompasses most of the Jackson Mountain Range. The area consists of 276,634 acres of BLM land and 7,141 acres of a mix of private and other public lands for a total of 283,775 acres. The elevation ranges from 8,923 feet at King Lear Peak to approximately 4,000 feet along the valley floors.
Vegetation in the HMA consists primarily of blue bunch wheatgrass, Wyoming Sagebrush, and Juniper in the higher elevations, sagebrush and bottlebrush squirrel tail on the lower mountain slopes and white sage, saltbush, greasewood 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 12 to 14 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 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months to minus 15 degrees or colder in the mountains in the winter.
The BLM will conduct this operation by using temporary water and bait traps consisting of a series of corral panels stocked with water and hay; no helicopters will be used. Because of the nature of the bait and water trap method, wild horses are reluctant to approach the trap site when there is too much activity; therefore, only essential gather operation personnel will be allowed at the trap site during operations.
Continuing our service to the public while doing our part to address COVID-19 is very important. Following guidance from the CDC and recommendations from state and local public health authorities, the BLM is not offering a public viewing site for this gather.
Excess wild horses removed from the range will be transported to the BLM’s Indian Lakes Off-Range Corrals located in Fallon, Nev., where they will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for the BLM’s wild horse and burro adoption program. Animals not adopted will be cared for in off-range pastures, where they retain their "wild" status and protection under 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.
For more information on the Wild Horse and Burro Program, call 1-866-468-7826 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.