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BLM schedules observation days to view Calico wild horse gather



The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Winnemucca District has tentatively scheduled eleven  observation days in January to provide the media and public additional opportunities to view ongoing BLM gather  activities to remove excess wild horses in the Calico Mountains Complex north of Gerlach, Nev.  The dates are subject to change depending upon weather and gather operations within the Complex.

The BLM will rendezvous with interested members of the public in Gerlach at 8:00 a.m. and caravan to the trap site, which will be an additional one and a half hour drive.  Four-wheel drive vehicles, appropriate shoes and clothing are recommended.  The observation days will last approximately five hours, leaving the trap site around 1:00 p.m. on the following dates:

–        Wednesday, January 6
–        Friday, January 8
–        Monday, January 11
–        Wednesday, January 13
–        Saturday, January 16
–        Monday, January 18
–        Wednesday, January 20
–        Saturday, January 23
–        Monday, January 25
–        Wednesday, January 27
–        Saturday, January 30

Members of the media/public may call Lisa Ross at the Winnemucca District Office, (775) 623-1541 or e-mail [email protected] to sign up.  In an effort to provide a safe environment for the animals, BLM staff, contractors and members of the public/media, requests will be accepted on a first come, first served basis and be limited to ten people per observation day.  Also, daily gather operations could be suspended if bad weather conditions create unsafe flying conditions.

The Calico Complex consists of five wild horse herd management areas (HMAs) in northwestern Nevada in Washoe and Humboldt counties that encompass approximately 550,000 acres of private and BLM-managed public lands. The five HMAs include the Black Rock Range East, Black Rock Range West, Calico Mountains, Granite Range and Warm Springs Canyon.

The BLM plans to keep 600 to 900 wild horses in the Calico Complex.  However, to reach that number, the BLM will need to remove approximately 2,500 excess wild horses.  The current population of 3,040 wild horses greatly exceeds the caring capacity of the rangelands.

As a result, the BLM is removing the excess wild horses in an effort to prevent further deterioration and impacts to the rangelands resulting from the overpopulation of wild horses.  The BLM’s goal is to achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance of the rangelands to ensure there will be adequate food and water for the remaining wild horses, wildlife and livestock.

Gather operations began on Thursday, December 28 and are expected to continue into late February.  To date, 298 excess wild horses have been gathered and 242 transported to the Indian Lakes Road short-term holding facility, located in Fallon, Nev.

Visiting the Holding Facility

Throughout the gather operation, the BLM is providing the public the opportunity to visit the short term holding facility, which is a privately owned operation.  To minimize potential impacts to the animals and ongoing operations at the facility, the BLM has revised its schedule and will offer tours of the facility at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday excluding holidays.  Anyone who would like to visit the facility may call the BLM at (775) 861-6586 for more information.

For more information, photos and updates on the status of the gather please visit the BLM website at www.blm.gov/nv/.

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