The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Carson City District, Stillwater Field Office will begin gathering horses from the Wassuk Herd Management Area (HMA) on Nov. 3. The BLM will gather approximately 500 wild horses and remove approximately 250 excess wild horses from the range. As many as 250 wild horses will be released back to the range following the gather. The gather area is located 12 miles southeast of Yerington, Nev., and west of Walker Lake. The gather is expected to last approximately 13 days.
“Horses removed from the Wassuk HMA will be available for adoption through the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program,” says Terri Knutson, Stillwater Field Manager. “Those that are not adopted will be cared for in long-term pastures, where they retain their “wild” status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.”
Public observation opportunities will be offered each day of the gather. If you are interested in observing the gather please call the Wassuk Gather information line at 775-885-6101 for the meeting location and time.
Of the animals released back on the range, about 100 mares will be vaccinated with PZP-22 (Porcine Zona Pellucida) fertility control vaccine which will assist with slowing population growth, maintaining population size within the Appropriate Management Level (AML), and extend the time before another gather to remove excess wild horses would be needed. This will leave a post-gather population of approximately 373 wild horses in the Wassuk HMA, which is above the AML range of 110-165, at the conclusion of the initial gather operations.
The BLM intends to continue with population control activities over the next 10 years by returning every two to three years to re-treat mares with fertility control vaccine as well as to remove excess wild horses within the Wassuk HMA area.
The gather will be conducted in close coordination with the Nevada Department of Agriculture’s (NDOA) Brands Division. The NDOA brand inspectors will verify that all gathered animals are wild horses and burros as defined by the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. Once verified, the brand inspector will provide the BLM a certificate to transport the animals.
The NDOA also may take jurisdiction of any estray, branded, or abandoned domestic horse(s) under the State of Nevada estray laws.
The gathered animals will be transported to the Palomino Valley Center near Reno, Nev. facility where they will be prepared for the BLM adoption program. The BLM does not sell or send any horses to slaughter.
For further information please contact Lisa Ross at 775-885-6100.