ELY – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ely District, Caliente Field Office on or about February 5, 2021 will begin gathering excess wild horses from in and around the Silver King Herd Management Area (HMA) located near Pioche, Nev. The BLM will gather up to 283 excess wild horses and remove up to 258 excess horses. The BLM will treat up to 25 mares with the fertility control vaccine GonaCon-Equine and release them back into the HMA.
The current population estimate for the Silver King HMA is 343 wild horses, including the 2020 foal crop. Appropriate Management Level (AML) is 60-128 wild horses. The purpose of the gather is to prevent undue or unnecessary degradation of the public lands associated with excess wild horses, and to restore a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship on public lands, consistent with the provisions of Section 1333(b) of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. Removing excess animals would also enable significant progress toward achieving the Standards for Rangeland Health identified by the Mojave-Southern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council.
The BLM will conduct gather operations using the helicopter-assisted method. The gather may also take place in areas outside the HMA where wild horses have moved in search of food and water.
The BLM’s priority is to conduct a safe, efficient, and successful wild horse gather operation while ensuring humane care and treatment of all animals gathered. The BLM and its contractors will use the best available science and handling practices for wild horses while meeting overall gather goals and objectives in accordance with the Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy.
All horses identified for removal will be transported to the Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Center in Reno, Nev., where they will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for the BLM’s wild horse and burro Adoption and Sale Program.
Members of the public are welcome to view the gather operations, provided that doing so does not jeopardize the safety of the animals, staff and observers, or 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 February 6, 2021, weather and logistics permitting. Once gather operations have begun, those wanting to view gather operations must call the gather hotline nightly at (775) 861-6700 to receive specific instructions on each days’ meeting location and time.
The BLM is conducting the gather under the DOI-BLM-NV-L000-2017-0005-EA Silver King HMA Gather Plan Environmental Assessment decision signed on November 8, 2017. Access the Decision Record and determination of National Environmental Policy Act adequacy at https://go.usa.gov/x7GgW.
Once the gather is underway, the BLM will post gather reports and additional information on its website at https://go.usa.gov/xAtAF. For technical information, contact Wild Horse and Burro Specialist Tyler Reese at (775) 726-8137 or firstname.lastname@example.org.For information on how to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit www.blm.gov/whb.