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BLM to begin Reveille wild horse gather September 7



blm_logo-300x261-4171050-5302323BATTLE MOUNTAIN – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Battle Mountain District, Tonopah Field Office will begin the removal of approximately 198 wild horses from in and around the Reveille Herd Management Area (HMA) on September 7, with the gather lasting about four days.

The gather is needed to achieve the Appropriate Management Level (AML) in the Reveille HMA and to achieve a thriving natural ecological balance for the remaining wild horse population, wildlife, livestock and vegetation. The BLM issued its Final Multiple Use Decision (FMUD) in June 2001 and an Amended Wild Horse Management Decision in October 2001, which established the AML at 138 wild horses for the Reveille HMA.

The gather is a court-mandated action resulting from a 1987 settlement agreement that directs the BLM to remove excess wild horses when the population exceeds the established AML. The current wild horse population for the HMA is approximately 278, which exceeds the established AML of 138 by 140 animals.  It is estimated that 250 or 90-95 percent of the anticipated 278 wild horses in the Reveille Allotment and HMA would be gathered.

Approximately 198 excess wild horses would be removed with first priority for removal being excess horses residing outside of the HMA boundaries within the Reveille Allotment.  The removed horses will be transported to the BLM short-term holding facility in Ridgecrest, Calif., where they will be dewormed, vaccinated, receive a physical and be prepared for adoption.

The post gather goal is for 80 wild horses to remain in the HMA.  Fertility control treatment would be given to the mares released back to the HMA.  The sex ratios of the wild horses would be adjusted to favor studs (60 percent studs, 40 percent mares).

“Both of these population control measures would help to slow population growth in order to maintain the established AML,” said Tonopah Field Manager Tom Seley.  “These measures will potentially increase the time before another gather is necessary, and reduce the numbers of wild horses that would need to be gathered and removed in future years.”

Public Observation Day
A public observation day has been scheduled tentatively for Thursday, September 9, to provide the media and public an opportunity to view ongoing gather activities.  The date is subject to change depending upon weather and gather operations.

“This will be the only observation day offered for this gather, and we invite the public to observe,” said Battle Mountain Wild Horse and Burro Specialist, Shawna Richardson.  “It’s a good way to spend the day because it’s interesting and educational.”

BLM representatives will rendezvous with interested members of the public at the Tonopah Field Office, 1553 S. Main St., Tonopah, Nev. at 5:30 a.m., and caravan to the gather site, which will be about an hour and a half drive from Tonopah.  Four-wheel drive or high-clearance vehicles are recommended.  The observation day will last approximately four to five hours, with an approximate departure between noon and 1 p.m.

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 10 people.  Space should be reserved ahead of time by calling Karen Goldsmith at (775) 482-7836.  Daily gather operations could be suspended if bad weather conditions create unsafe flying conditions.

For more information, please call Tonopah Field Manager Tom Seley, 775-482-7800.

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