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Public on-site to observe BLM gather operations



blm_logo-300x261-1710384-3501429Members of the public rendezvoused at Midas, Nev., today, and were escorted by Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Elko District staff to the temporary gather site where they observed ongoing wild horse gather operations.

The observers filmed and photographed the animals as they were brought into the temporary gather corrals.  A second observation day is scheduled on Saturday, July 24.  Additional observation days are tentatively being scheduled for next week.

The contractor, using two helicopters, gathered approximately 60 wild horses from the Little Humboldt HMA by 9:30 a.m. without incident or injury, and concluded operations for the day.  The BLM conducted gather operations within the Rock Creek HMA on Thursday and gathered 103 wild horses without incident.

“The horses came in calm and easy,” said Ken Miller, BLM Elko District Manager.  “The morning temperature was 62 degrees and heat was not an issue when the animals were gathered.”

The observers watched the horses being sorted and loaded into trucks to be hauled to the temporary holding corrals – again without incident.  The observers relocated to the temporary corrals, where they observed the wild horses gathered today, as well as the animals gathered on Thursday.

The Rock Creek and Little Humboldt horses are in separate pens.  The BLM will begin to apply fertility control on the mares on Sunday, and adjust of the sex ratios to 60 percent studs and 40 percent mares. Once treated, the wild horses will be released back into their respective HMA.

“Utilizing fertility control and adjusting the sex ratios is the ideal on-the-ground management to establish and maintain the appropriate management levels within the HMA and control impacts resulting from overpopulations of wild horses,” added Miller.  “This will allow the BLM to work toward achieving healthy rangelands and establish a thriving ecological balance on the public rangelands that will help ensure there is adequate feed and water for the remaining wild horses, wildlife and permitted livestock.”

The BLM anticipates removing approximately 425 excess wild horses that have moved outside the Little Humboldt HMA.  These animals are causing considerable impacts to rangeland resources on public and adjacent private lands, as well as impacts to habitat for the Lahontan cutthroat trout.

The excess wild horses will be shipped either to the Gunnison Prison Wild Horse Training Facility at the Central Utah Correctional Facility, or to the Palomino Valley Center near Sparks, Nev.  During the next several months all the animals will be closely monitored, provided good feed, water and veterinarian care as needed.

The animals will be wormed, vaccinated, and freeze marked, and all 12 month and older studs will be gelded.  Once the wild horses have fully recovered, they will be made available for adoption to qualified applicants through the BLM’s Adopt-A-Wild Horse or Burro Program.  The public may visit the BLM’s website at www.blm.gov for more information about adopting a wild horse or burro.

The Tuscarora gather area encompasses the Owyhee, Rock Creek, and Little Humboldt HMAs.  The BLM concluded emergency rescue gather operation in the Owyhee HMA on Tuesday, July 20.

As more information becomes available it will be posted at the website:  http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/elko_field_office.html.  For further comments and questions, the public may call 1-866-468-7826.

The BLM manages more land – more than 245 million acres – than any other Federal agency.  This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska.  The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation.  The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.  The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.

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