The Bureau of Land Management Battle Mountain District, Mount Lewis Field Office on Jan. 3 concluded the 2020 Fish Creek Wild Horse Gather on the Fish Creek Herd Management Area near Eureka. Approximately 105 wild horses remain within the complex.
The BLM gathered 198 and removed 135 wild horses. A total of 63 horses were released back onto the range, and 30 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.
Fish Creek HMA encompasses more than 250,000 acres of public land and has an Appropriate Management Level of 107-180 wild horses. A helicopter survey conducted in December 2019 documented 240 wild horses within and directly outside of the Fish Creek HMA.
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 BLM Bruneau Off Range Wild Horse Corrals southeast of Boise. 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/x78rK