The Bureau of Land Management Battle Mountain District, Mount Lewis Field Office on Sept. 29 concluded the 2020 Diamond Complex wild horse helicopter gather within the Diamond Complex on the Diamond Mountain Range.
The Diamond Complex included three herd management areas administered by three BLM Districts in three Nevada counties: the Diamond HMA, Diamond Hills North HMA and the Diamond Hills South HMA.
Approximately 300 wild horses remain within the complex.
The BLM gathered 1,196 and removed 1,139 wild horses. A total of 43 horses were released back onto the range. Twenty-one mares identified for release were treated with the fertility control vaccine PZP-22 to slow the population growth rate of the remaining population within the HMAs.
PZP-22 is a temporary fertility-control vaccine that can prevent pregnancy in wild horses for up to two years.
The purpose of the gather was 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. In addition, the action was also necessary to protect the range from impacts associated with herd overpopulation, especially considering severe drought conditions throughout Central Nevada.
By balancing herd size with what the land can support, the BLM aims to protect habitat for other wildlife species such as sage grouse, pronghorn antelope and mule deer. Removing excess animals will enable significant progress toward achieving the standards for rangeland health identified by the Northeastern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council.
The BLM transported wild horses removed from the range to the Palomino Valley Off-Range Corrals, located in Reno.
All the animals will be readied for the BLM’s wild horse and burro adoption and sale program. Wild horses not adopted or sold will be placed in long-term pastures where they will be humanely cared for and retain their “wild” status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.
For information on how to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit www.blm.gov/whb
Additional gather information is available on the BLM website at https://go.usa.gov/xG2yx