BLM to begin Calico Complex wild horse gather

Via BLM Press Release »

Winnemucca, Nev. (Sept. 6, 2022) — The Black Rock Field Office will begin a wild horse gather on or about September 10, 2022 on the Calico Complex (complex) located northwest Humboldt County, Nevada. The BLM will conduct gather operations using the helicopter-assisted method. 

The complex includes Black Rock Range, Calico Mountains, Granite Range McGee Mountain and Warm Springs Canyon Herd Management Areas (HMAs) which encompasses over 584,101 acres and has an Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 572 – 952 wild horses. A helicopter survey conducted in May 2022, documented approximately 1,593 wild horses within and directly outside of the Complex – nearly 2-times above the high end of the established AML. The agency plans to gather 1,076 and remove approximately 1,036 excess wild horses. Approximately 40 mares will be treated with fertility control consistent with the 2021 Decision and returned to the complex.

The purpose of the gather is to prevent undue or unnecessary degradation of the public lands associated with excess wild horses, 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. The action is also necessary to reduce overpopulation of excess wild horses within and outside the HMAs, where there currently is not enough water to support the number of horses in the area, and to prevent further degradation of public lands by helping to balance herd size.

By balancing herd size with what the land can support, the Black Rock Field Office aims to protect habitat for other wildlife species such as sage grouse, pronghorn antelope, and mule deer. Removing excess wild horses would also enable significant progress toward achieving the Standards for Rangeland Health identified by the Sierra Front Northwest Resource Advisory Council.

 “We conduct gathers to ensure the health of public lands within the HMAs, and the health of the wild horses in the area,” said Black Rock Field Office Manager, Mark Hall. “As always, we are committed to conducting safe and humane gather operations as we work to protect animal health by bringing herd size down to AML and work to restore a thriving natural ecological balance on public lands and protect it from further deterioration associated with overpopulation.”

The BLM and its contractors will use the best available science and handling practices for wild horses and burros while meeting overall gather goals and objectives in accordance with the Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy.

All excess animals identified for removal will be transported to the Indian Lakes Off-Range Corrals, located in Fallon, Nevada. Upon arrival to the facility, all animals 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. 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. More »

Featured image: Helicopter terrorizes wild horses into awaiting trap during an earlier Calico roundup. Photo ©Mike Lorden.


Tuesday’s Horse

Official Blog of The Fund for Horses

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