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BLM readies emergency gather of 125 wild horses

The Bureau of Land Management Southern Nevada District will begin two emergency wild horse gathers this week.

The first will be on the Nevada Wild Horse Range Herd Management Area located about 30 miles southeast of Tonopah in Nye County starting on or around Tuesday, July 28. The second will be on the Montezuma Peak Herd Management Area located about 26 miles south of Tonopah and west of Goldfield in Esmeralda County starting Wednesday, July 29.The action is needed because of lack of water and declining health of the wild horses associated with herd overpopulation.

The BLM plans to gather approximately 125 wild horses from within the Nevada Wild Horse Range HMA. The gather is expected to last 10-14 days. The BLM will conduct gather operations utilizing temporary water and/or bait traps consisting of a series of corral panels stocked with water and/or hay; no helicopters will be used.

The Nevada Wild Horse Range HMA encompasses more than 1.3 million acres of public lands and lies entirely inside the Nevada Test and Training Range. The appropriate management level for the Nevada Wild Horse Range HMA is 300-500 wild horses. As of March 1, the estimated population was 801 wild horses, which does not include additional foals born this year. The current population estimate, including the 2020 foal crop, puts the HMA at approximately 192 percent of AML.

The Nevada Wild Horse Range is entirely inside the Nevada Test and Training Range; therefore, only essential gather operations personnel will be allowed at the trap site during gather operations.

The BLM plans to gather approximately 50 wild horses and 25 burros from within the Montezuma Peak HMA. The gather is expected to last up to 29 days. The BLM will conduct gather operations utilizing temporary water and/or bait traps consisting of a series of corral panels stocked with water and/or hay; no helicopters will be used.

The Montezuma Peak Herd Management Area encompasses an area 9 miles wide and 21 miles long. The Appropriate Management Level for the Montezuma Peak HMA is four wild horses and 10 burros. As of March 1, the estimated population was 130 wild horses and 207 wild burros, which does not include additional foals born this year. The current population estimate, including the 2020 foal crop, puts the HMA at approximately 3,250% of AML for horses and 2,070% of AML for burros.

The gathers are critical to ensuring the health of the HMA lands as well as the wild horses in the area, the BLM said, both of which are in jeopardy because of herd overpopulation and extremely limited water sources. The emergency gather will help prevent further degradation of the public lands associated with excess wild horses and help make progress toward restoring 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 BLM is committed to conducting safe and humane emergency gather operations as we work to save animal lives by reducing overpopulation and bringing herd size more in line with what the resources of the area can support,” said Ian Glander, Southern Nevada District acting district manager.

All wild horses identified for removal will be transported to the Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse and Burro Corrals in Ridgecrest, California, where they will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for the BLM’s wild horse and burro Adoption and Sale Program. For information on how to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit www.blm.gov/whb.

Once the gather begins, gather reports and additional information will be posted on the BLM website at https://go.usa.gov/xfjXD. For technical information, contact Tabitha Romero, wild horse and burro specialist at 702-515-5000 or tromero@blm.gov

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