BATTLE MOUNTAIN—Officials from the Bureau of Land Management will begin a wild horse gather on Dec. 26 in the Fish Creek Herd Management Area near Eureka, Nevada.
According to a statement from the BLM’s Mount Lewis Field Office, officials plan to gather nearly 200 wild horses using the helicopter assisted method to relieve over-population in the HMA. Up to 30 mares in the gather will be treated with PZP-22, a fertility control vaccine, and released back to the herd along with up to 30 studs. About 135 horses will be removed from the HMA, leaving just over 100 horses.
Officials say the 250,000 acres of the Fish Creek HMA can support between 107-180 wild horses. The current estimated population, ascertained during a December 2019 helicopter survey, is estimated at 240 horses.
The BLM says removal of the excess horses will help to restore the ecological balance of the area’s lands and protect habitat for other wildlife species in the area, including sage grouse, pronghorn antelope, mule deer and elk. They also say there isn’t enough water to support the number of horses currently in the area.
Horses removed from the HMA will be transported to the Bruneau Off-Range Corrals, located in Bruneau, Idaho, checked by a veterinarian and readied for the BLM’s wild horse and burro Adoption and Sale Program.
The BLM invites members of the public to view the gather operations, provided that doing so does not jeopardize the safety of the animals, staff and observers, or disrupt gather operations. Anyone wishing to attend gather operations is asked to RSVP by Dec. 24 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The BLM will escort the public to gather observation sites located on public lands. COVID-19 restrictions are in place, with requirements including face masks, social distancing and hand hygiene.
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.