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BLM issues temporary closure on public lands during Tuscarora wild horse gather



wild-horses-198x300-7308579-9545206ELKO — Certain areas on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in northwestern Elko County will be temporarily closed to public access, use and occupancy at varying times and locations from July 6 through July 31, 2010.  The temporary closure involves about 27,000 acres and is necessary to help ensure the safety of the public, contractors and government employees, and wild horses, and to ensure the orderly progress of the Tuscarora wild horse gather operations.  The public will have the opportunity to attend the gather on specifically scheduled and escorted visitation days.

The sites identified for temporary closure are locations the BLM has used during previous gathers in the Owyhee, Rock Creek and Little Humboldt Herd Management Areas over the past 10 years.  Some of the gather sites are on public land and some are on private land.  The temporary closure would be in effect only on public land.  Not all of the lands identified for temporary closure will be closed during the entire period.  The public will be authorized to use those areas where gather operations are not in progress.  Areas from which the public will be temporarily excluded will be dependent upon the actual area of operation which will be variable according to the needs of the gather contractor.  Areas temporarily closed to public access will be posted at main entry points with signs.

Once gather operations are concluded in specific areas, those portions of the public lands will be reopened.  The temporary closure may be lifted prior to July 31 if gather operations are completed before that date.

Helicopters will be used during the gather operation.  The BLM will remove about 1,100 excess wild horses from within the Owyhee, Rock Creek and Little Humboldt Herd Management Areas (HMAs) and outside of these HMAs to bring the number of wild horses in the area to the appropriate management level range of 337-561 animals.  The HMAs cover about 455,000 acres in Elko County, about 90 miles northwest of Elko, Nev.

For more information, call David Overcast, Tuscarora Field Manager, at 775-753-0320.

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