BLM to Start
Emergency Wild Horse Gather in
– The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Winnemucca District, Black Rock
Field Office has issued a Decision Record for an environmental assessment (EA)
wild horse gather. The decision is issued in full force and effect to
begin gathering 630 excess wild horses on June 8 because of drought conditions
in the herd management area (HMA) which is about 60 miles northwest of
, in Humboldt and Pershing counties.
BLM is closely monitoring the condition of the wild horses in the southern end
of the Jackson Mountain HMA,” said District Manager Gene Seidlitz. “It
is necessary for the health of the horses to get the excess animals off the
range now before their condition worsens.”
BLM started hauling water to troughs last month,” Seidlitz added.
“There is minimal to no green up occurring on this year’s forge. The
wild horses in the southern end of the HMA are foraging on last year’s
cheatgrass and shrubs and their condition is declining.”
estimated population is 930 wild horses, which includes the 2012 foal crop.
The Appropriate Management Level (AML) for the Jackson Mountains HMA is 130 to
217 wild horses. This gather will not achieve the desired low AML of 130
wild horses on the range, and there will be two to three follow-up gathers over
the next 10 years.
Decision Record was issued in full force and effect, which means that although
the gather was originally slated to start July 1, it will now start on June 8
due to an emergency situation in the HMA. The gather is considered an
emergency because of persistent drought conditions in the HMA, which has put a
large population of wild horses at risk, and the declining animal condition
associated with minimal vegetation growth and availability of water. The
body condition score of wild horses in the HMA overall is between a 2 (very
thin) and 4 (moderately thin).
is BLM policy to not conduct wild horse gathers during the foaling season, which
is typically from March through June. The emergency gather will start one
month before the end of the foaling season.
BLM is taking precautions during the gather to reduce heat stress and distances
we move the animals,” said Seidlitz. “We are working closely with the
contractor to ensure we are conducting the gather in the most humane manner
possible. We care about these animals and we take seriously our
responsibility to manage healthy herds of wild horses on the public lands.”
the HMA are several grazing allotments with permitted livestock. Due to
the drought conditions, voluntary changes in livestock management have occurred
and the permittees have taken voluntary measures to delay turnout, reduce
numbers, and adjust livestock operations. The permitted livestock have
been removed from the southern use area of the HMA and Jackson Mountain
Allotment (Trail Springs/DeLong Windmill).
lands within the HMA will be open to the public during the gather operations,
subject to necessary safety restrictions. The public is welcome to attend
the gather, and is encouraged to attend on Saturdays, when the media and public
will have enhanced opportunities to view gather activities. The public is
encouraged to check the gather hotline (775) 623-1541 for information about the
next day’s meeting time, to RSVP to attend the gather and to hear any changes
in the schedule. On Saturdays, visitors will have more opportunity to
interact with BLM staff and could include escorted opportunities to observe the
animals at the gather and holding corrals.
gather will be conducted in close coordination with the Nevada Department of
Agriculture’s (NDOA) Brands Division. The NDOA brand inspectors will
verify that all gathered animals are wild horses and burros as defined by the
Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. Once verified, the brand
inspector will provide the BLM a certificate to transport the animals.
NDOA’s cooperation and coordination, the BLM would not be able to remove the
excess wild horses which, if not removed in a timely manner, would result in
degradation of our native rangelands. The NDOA also may take jurisdiction
of any estray, branded, or abandoned domestic horse(s) under the State of
gathered animals will be transported to the
, where they will be prepared for the BLM adoption program. Unadopted horses
will be placed in long-term pastures where they will be humanly cared for and
retain their “wild” status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming
Horses and Burros Act. The BLM does not sell or send any horses to
Jackson Mountains Herd Management Area (HMA) is approximately 283,000 acres in
size. This is considered the primary gather area, although the total
gather area is approximately 775,000 acres to encompass wild horses residing in
non-HMA areas in their search for water, forage and space.
gather and impacts are described and analyzed in the EA, which is available
online at the Winnemucca District website: www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/wfo.html.
The BLM will also provide updates and information on the website on a regular
basis throughout the course of the gather.
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