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Windy conditions disrupt daily gather operations

By ThisIsReno

BLM NEWS RELEASE

High winds today temporarily halted gather operations in the Rock Creek Herd Management Area (HMA) to gather excess wild horses in the Cornucopia Mine/Ridge area, which is approximately five miles outside the Rock Creek HMA.

Yesterday, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) contractor gathered 78 excess wild horses, including 30 studs, 34 mares and 14 foals in this area, where about 50 -70 additional excess wild horses have been sighted.

Yesterday’s gather went well with no incidents or injuries.  An 18-year-old mare with an older pre-existing fractured knee and upper leg injury was humanely euthanized.

Morning temperatures were cool and heat was not an issue. The contractor ended operations after the animals were gathered.

A second group of approximately 285 excess wild horses has been sighted in the Rock Creek drainage area, which is about three miles outside the HMA.  All these animals moved out of the HMA after a wildland fire in 2006.

Cumulatively between the two groups of excess wild horses, the BLM needs to gather about 350 excess wild horses.  They are causing considerable impacts to rangeland resources on public and adjacent private lands, as well as impacting habitat for the Lahontan cutthroat trout.

After adjusting the sex ratio of 60 percent studs and 40 percent mares, the BLM released 38 studs back into the Rock Creek HMA at 9 a.m. today.  The BLM also applied fertility control on 41 Rock Creek mares, which were released back into the HMA at 1 p.m.  One mare, determined too old to apply fertility control, was returned back into the HMA with the treated mares.

The BLM shipped 30 studs to the Gunnison Prison Wild Horse Training Facility at the Central Utah Correctional Facility, and 23 mares and 16 foals to the Palomino Valley Center near Sparks, Nev. Today.  After the animals have been wormed, vaccinated, and freeze marked, and gelded (all 12 month and older studs), 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 an emergency rescue gather operation in the Owyhee HMA on Tuesday, July 20.  The BLM completed gather operations in the Little Humboldt HMA after conducting fertility control on the mares, adjusting sex ratio, and releasing the mares and studs back into the HMA on Sunday, July 25.  The BLM anticipates it could conclude gather operations in the Rock Creek HMA by the weekend.

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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