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BLM concludes wild horse, burro gather operation last month

They are considered majestic, alluring, and a true symbol of the Wild West, but their numbers are a concern to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Nevada.

As such, on February 12, 2020, BLM officials at the Battle Mountain District’s Tonopah Field Office concluded a wild horse helicopter gather on the Reveille Herd Management Area (HMA) located about 50 miles east of Tonopah, according to a news release.

“BLM officials gathered 113 and removed 74 wild horses,” the release stated. “A total of 39 horses, both mares and studs, were released back onto the range. Approximately 100-125 wild horses remain in the HMA. All mares identified for release, a total of 22, were treated with the fertility control vaccine PZP-22 to slow the population growth rate of the remaining population within the HMA. PZP-22 is a temporary fertility-control vaccine that can prevent pregnancy in wild horses for one to two years.”

The release went on to state that the purpose of the gather was to reduce the impact to rangeland health and wildlife habitat by removing excess horses and apply fertility control to mares that were released back to the HMA in order to slow population growth rates and assist in maintaining wild horse population levels below the established Appropriate Management Level (AML) per court decisions from 1987, 2001, and 2002.

Additionally, the release noted that the post-gather population of 100 to 125 wild horses will allow for at least three years until the population nears the established high AML of 138 wild horses and another gather is scheduled.

“The BLM transported wild horses removed from the range to the BLM’s Indian Lakes Off-Range Wild Horse and Burro Corrals located in Fallon, to be readied for the BLM’s wild horse and burro adoption and sale program,” the release stated. “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/xdBp2.

The BLM, according its website, manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska.

The agency also administers 700 million acres of subsurface mineral estates throughout the nation.

In fiscal year 2018, the array of activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country.

The economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals, the website noted.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com or on Twitter at pvtimes

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