WINNEMUCCA – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Winnemucca District, Black Rock Field Office has issued the Decision Record for the Tri-State-Calico Complex Wild Horse and Burro Gather. The BLM will gather approximately 1,298 wild horses and 140 wild burros. As many as 268 wild horses will be released back to the range following the gather. The gather area is located northeast of Gerlach, Nev., within Humboldt and Washoe counties. The proposed gather is tentatively scheduled to begin in December 2011 and will last approximately 40-50 days.
At the time of the proposed gather, it is estimated that the population will be approximately 1,602 wild horses and 179 wild burros within the Tri-State-Calico Complex where the appropriate management level (AML) is 572-952 wild horses and 39-65 wild burros. The estimate includes the 2011 foal crop. Wild horse and burro numbers fluctuate based on the animals’ movement outside of Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in search of forage, water and space, due to the current over-population of wild horses and burros in these areas.
If more than 1,030 wild horses are gathered, selective removal criteria will be used to return horses to the range. Of the wild horses released back to the range, approximately 87 mares would receive a 22-month Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP-22) immunocontraceptive vaccine treatment and 181 stallions will be released back to the HMAs to strive for a sex ratio adjustment of 60 percent male and 40 percent female. The goal is to slow population growth to maintain population size within the AML, and extend the time before another wild horse and burro gather would be needed to remove excess wild horses and burros.
Removing the excess wild horses and burros will help to achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship as required under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, and Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as well as help to achieve and maintain healthy wild horse and burro populations.
The gathered animals will be transported to the Palomino Valley Center near Reno, Nev., where they will be prepared for the BLM adoption program. Un-adopted horses will be placed in long-term pastures where they will be humanly cared for and retain their “wild” status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The BLM does not sell or send any horses to slaughter.
The BLM is proposing to finish the proposed action and decision made in the Calico Mountains Complex Wild Horse Gather Plan from 2010. Although the Calico Mountains Complex was gathered in Jan. and Feb. 2010, the overall proposed action was not achieved due to winter conditions and wild horse movement within the tri-state area of Nevada, Oregon, and California, which necessitates the need for this follow-up gather.
Wild horses and burros from the Tri-State-Calico Complex will be gathered as a Complex or unit as herds move and interact throughout. The proposed gather is being conducted in conjunction with BLM California’s High Rock Wild Horse Gather, which would take place immediately prior to this proposed gather. This is conducive to population management because both gathers are located within the tri-state area where wild horse movement between these areas exists. The Complex gather involves areas beyond the HMA boundaries as wild horses and burros have moved outside of the HMAs in search of forage, water and space, due to the current over-population of wild horses and burros in these areas.
The Complex consists of approximately 584,000 acres (public and private) but the gather area consists of approximately 1,041,000 acres to encompass wild horses and burros residing outside of the HMAs.
The Complex includes the following HMAs: Black Rock Range East, Black Rock Range West, Calico Mountains, Granite Range, Warm Springs Canyon, and McGee Mountain.
The Tri-State-Calico Complex gather and impacts are described and analyzed in the EA, which is available online athttp://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/wfo/blm_information/nepa0.html. The BLM will also provide updates and information athttp://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/wfo/blm_programs/wild_horses_and_burros/TriState_Calico.html on a regular basis throughout the course of the gather.
For more information, contact Lisa Ross, BLM Winnemucca District public affairs specialist, at 775-623-1541 or[email protected].