ELY – The Bureau of Land Management plans to begin an emergency wild horse gather this weekend on the Meadow Valley Mountains and Delamar Mountains Herd Areas, about 20 miles southwest of Caliente in Lincoln County. Officials say horses in the herd area are suffering from declining health due to lack of water and forage.
The gather, estimated to last just over two weeks, aims to round up more than 400 horses and will be conducted using the helicopter-assisted method, the BLM said in a statement.
The two heard areas encompass more than 278,000 acres of BLM-administered land that resource management plans indicate lack sufficient habitat to support any wild horses. Recent fires in the areas, including the July 2020 Meadow Valley Fire and the Stewart Canyon and Bishop fires, have further impacted natural resources in the area.
“This gather is critical to ensuring rangeland health, as well as the health of the wild horses, which are at risk due to overpopulation and severe drought conditions,” said Shirley Johnson, Acting Caliente Field Manager for the BLM.
All wild horses identified for removal will be transported to the Bruneau Off-Range Wild Horse Corrals, in Bruneau, Idaho, where they will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for the BLM’s wild horse and burro Adoption and Sale Program. For information on how to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit www.blm.gov/whb.
Members of the public can 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. 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 following COVID-19 guidelines will apply:
• Facemasks are required for daily safety briefings and in the observation areas.
• Always stay at least six feet from others. Avoid gathering with others outside of your household.
• Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
• Bring hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to use if soap and water are not available.
• Do not attend the gather if you are sick, recently exposed (within 14 days) to someone with COVID-19 or are not feeling well.
Gather reports and additional information will be posted on the BLM website at https://go.usa.gov/x7FcZ. For technical information, contact Tyler Reese, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist at (775) 726-8137 or firstname.lastname@example.org.