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The Bureau of Land Management’s Ely District, Bristlecone Field Office wild horse emergency bait and water trap gather ran from August 29-August 31. The final load of horses was shipped to The Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Center in Reno, NV on August 31, 2020.

2020 Jakes Wash Emergency Wild Horse Gather

Wild horses attempt to drink at Deadman Well in the Jacks Wash Herd Area.
Wild horses attempt to drink at Deadman Well in the Jacks Wash Herd Area.

Purpose of Gather:

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ely District, Bristlecone Field Office will begin an emergency wild horse gather on or about Aug. 28, 2020 around Deadman Well and Blackjack Spring in the Jakes Wash Herd Area (HA) located about 30 miles west of Ely in White Pine County, Nevada.

The action is needed due to lack of water resulting in declining health of the wild horses - the HA has a history of water issues during dry spring and summer months. Fiscal year 2020 has been unusually hot and dry with very little precipitation.

All horses identified for removal will be transported to the Palomino Valley Center Wild Horse and Burro Corrals, in Reno, 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 60 excess wild horses. The gather is expected to last approximately ten days.

Background: 

Due to a lack of perennial water, the Jakes Wash Herd Management Area (HMA) in 2008 reverted to Herd Area status and is managed for zero wild horses, per the Record of Decision and 2008 Approved Ely District Resource Management Plan (RMP).  The last gather in the HA occurred in January 2012. A total of 57 animals were removed. The current population estimate is 136-372 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 Jakes Wash HA encompasses approximately 153,663 acres of public and private lands. The area is within the Great Basin geographical region, which is one of the largest deserts in the world.  The Great Basin physiographic region, characterized by a high, rolling plateau underlain by basalt flows covered with a thin loess and alluvial mantle. On many of the low hills and ridges that are scattered throughout the area, the soils are underlain by bedrock. Elevations within the HA range from approximately 5,000 feet to 11,000 feet. Annual precipitation ranges from approximately 5 inches or less on some of the valley bottoms to 20 inches on the mountain peaks. Most of this precipitation comes during the winter and spring months in the form of snow, supplemented by localized thunderstorms during the summer months. Temperatures range from greater than 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months to minus 20 degrees in the winter. The area is also utilized by domestic livestock and numerous wildlife species.

Plant species dominating the lower elevations include Wyoming big sagebrush, low sagebrush, black sagebrush, winterfat, shadscale, budsage, sickle saltbush, black greasewood, rabbitbrush, Indian ricegrass, Sandburg bluegrass, bluebunch wheatgrass, bottlebrush squirreltail, needlegrass and assorted forb species.

Plant species dominating the higher elevations include Wyoming big sagebrush, mountain sagebrush, black sagebrush, antelope bitterbrush, Utah serviceberry, snowberry, golden and squaw current, pinion pine, Utah juniper, curl-leaf mountain mahogany, limber pine, white fir, bluebunch wheatgrass, needlegrass and assorted forb species. 

Public Observation:

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.

Adoption Information: 

The wild horses removed from the range will be transported to the BLM’s Palomino Valley Center Wild Horse and Burro Corrals, in Reno, 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 wildhorse@blm.gov.

Gather Reports

Monday, August 31

Animals Gathered: 0 (0 Studs, 0 Mares, and 0 Foals)

Animals Shipped: 68 (27 Studs, 29 Mares, and 12 Foals)

Deaths: 0

-Sudden / Acute: 0

-Pre-existing / Chronic: 0


Friday, August 29

Animals Gathered: 68 (27 Studs, 29 Mares, and 12 Foals)

Animals Shipped: 0 (0 Studs, 0 Mares, and 0 Foals)

Deaths: 0

-Sudden / Acute: 0

-Pre-existing / Chronic: 0

Cumulative Totals 

Animals Gathered: 68

(27 Studs, 29 Mares, and 12 Foals)

Animal Deaths: 0

Pre-existing: 0
Acute: 0

Animals Shipped: 68

(27 Studs, 29 Mares, and 12 Foals)

Scroll to the bottom of this gather page for detailed “Daily Gather Reports”

Downloads

Official gather documents can be accessed on BLM’s ePlanning site: https://go.usa.gov/xGxVZ

Informational Materials: