BATTLE MOUNTAIN – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Battle Mountain District, Tonopah Field Office will begin the removal of approximately 182 excess wild horses and burros from in and around the Montezuma Peak and Paymaster Herd Management Areas (HMAs) beginning on or about September 13. The gather is estimated to last about four days.
The gather is needed to achieve the Appropriate Management Level (AML) in the Paymaster and Montezuma Peak HMAs and achieve a thriving natural ecological balance for the remaining wild horse and burro population, wildlife, livestock and vegetation. The BLM issued Final Multiple Use Decisions (FMUDs) between 2001 and 2007 for the allotments within the HMAs, which established an AML of 38 wild horses for the Paymaster HMA and 3 wild horses and 10 burros for the Montezuma Peak HMA.
“These HMAs are very arid, located at the northern edge of the Mojave Desert and do not provide suitable habitat for large numbers of wild horses and burros,” said Tonopah Field Manager Tom Seley. “The areas have a history of poor animal health and emergency gathers due to lack of adequate forage and water, particularly during drought years.”
It is estimated that approximately 45 wild horses would be gathered and removed from outside of the Paymaster HMA and inside if needed to leave a post gather population of 23 wild horses. Approximately 61 wild burros and 78 wild horses would be gathered and removed from within and outside of the Montezuma Peak HMA to leave a post gather population of 3 wild horses and 10 wild burros.
The removed horses and burros 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.
Public Observation Day
A public observation day has been scheduled tentatively for Tuesday, September 14, 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 Horse 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 6:30 a.m., and caravan to the gather site, which will be about a half hour 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 time from the gather site 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.