The Bureau of Land Management will resume the Seaman and White River Herd Areas (HAs) wild horse gather south of Ely, on or about Jan. 5, 2020. Gather operations, which employ the use of helicopters, began in November but were suspended when excess wild horses remaining in the White River HA moved into heavy pinyon-juniper in the higher elevations of the wilderness. The BLM plans to gather and remove approximately 150 additional wild horses. The gather is expected to last up to six days.
The purpose of this gather is to remove all excess wild horses from areas not designated for or suitable to their long-term management and prevent further degradation of public lands. In the 2008 Ely Resource Management Plan, the BLM decided to manage this area for zero wild horses as it no longer met the criteria for maintaining a thriving ecological balance with multiple uses as authorized under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976.
Members of the public are welcome to view the daily gather operations, provided that it does not jeopardize the safety of the animals, staff or observers and that it does not disrupt gather operations. The BLM will escort the public to gather observation sites located on public lands. The BLM anticipates that viewing opportunities will begin on or about Jan. 6, weather and logistics permitting. Those wanting to view gather operations are asked to call the Seaman and White River Herd Areas Wild Horse Gather Hotline at (775) 861-6700 at least one day in advance to receive specific instructions on meeting locations and times. The hotline will be updated each day by 7 p.m.