59.3 F

Tuscarora gather operations continue throughout the weekend



wild-horses-198x300-2486488-5936369The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Tuscarora gather operations continue in the Rock Creek drainage area, where 193 excess wild horses outside the Rock Creek Herd Management Area (HMA) have been gathered without incident since Friday.

An estimated 200 excess wild horses have been sighted throughout this area. These excess wild horses must be removed because they are causing considerable impacts to rangeland resources on public and adjacent private lands, as well as impacting habitat for the Lahontan cutthroat trout.

The BLM contractor concluded operations in the Cornucopia Mine/Ridge area on Thursday after gathering 23 excess wild horses (12 studs, 9 mares, 2 foals) without incident or injury. The Rock Creek drainage and Cornucopia Mine/Ridge areas are several miles outside the HMA.  The excess wild horses moved into these areas and out of the HMA after a wildland fire in 2006.

The majority of the gather has been conducted between 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.  Morning temperatures range from the low 50s to the low 80s when the animals were gathered and heat has not been an issue. To date, the BLM has safely gathered more than 1,100 excess wild horses.

“The first part of the gather involved emergency rescue operations to more than 600 wild horses within the Owyhee HMA that were without water” said Ken Miller, BLM Elko District Manager. “The BLM hauled more than 46,000 gallons of water between June12 and June 16 to help stabilize the condition of the horses prior to the rescue operation.”

The BLM initiated the emergency rescue gather on Friday, July 16.  Emergency gather operations concluded on Wednesday, July 21, and the BLM successfully rescued 636 excess wild horses.

“As a result of prompt action to haul water and to provide care for these rescued horses once we learned the wild horses in this area were suffering from water starvation/dehydration, we were able to save the lives of most of the gathered horses from the rescue area,” added Miller.  “A large number of the excess wild horses we gathered from the Owyhee HMA would likely have died without the water hauling, gather operations and subsequent care we were able to provide.”

However, 30 animals suffering from pre-existing, non-gather related injuries, including water starvation and dehydration-related complications, older injuries (lameness, blindness, pneumonia, etc.) or birth defects and physical injury-related deformities have been humanly euthanized. Four wild horses have died or were humanly euthanized as a result of gather-related injuries.

“The remaining wild horses we have gathered are at or soon will be at one our facilities and receive the best food, water and veterinarian care possible,” added Miller.

The regularly scheduled part of the Tuscarora gather in the Rock Creek HMA is expected to continue throughout the weekend.  The excess wild horses throughout this area are in much better condition than the Owyhee HMA because lack of water is not an issue.

The BLM contractor shipped 24 mares and 11 foals to the Palomino Valley Center (PVC) at 6 a.m.  Saturday, July 31.  Those animals arrived at the facility in good condition and are receiving a good diet of grass hay and water and veterinarian care if needed.

The BLM also shipped 22 dry mares to PVC on Thursday, July 29, and 23 excess wild horses (12 studs, 9 mares, 2 foals) to PVC on Friday, July 30.  Both shipments arrived safely and without incident.  The horses continue to gain strength and rehydrate daily, and are receiving a good diet of grass hay and water with and without electrolyte supplement.

After the animals have been dewormed, vaccinated, freeze marked and gelded (all studs 12 month and older), 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.

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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