BLM Completes Diamond Complex Wild Horse Gather

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) concluded its Diamond Complex Wild Horse Gather on Feb. 6. A total of 792 horses were gathered from the three herd management areas (HMAs) that make up the complex: Diamond, Diamond Hills North, and Diamond Hills South HMAs, all of which are located in northern Nevada.

Wild horses gathered from the Diamond HMA, managed by the BLM Battle Mountain District, exhibited poor body condition as a result of reduced forage conditions due to the severe drought last year, as well as stress from recent snow storms, which made forage very limited, particularly in the lower elevations. In order to provide immediate protect of the wild horses and the resource, the BLM determined during the gather that additional wild horses needed to be removed from the Diamond HMA. The BLM gathered a total of 312 horses from the Diamond HMA (an increase from the planned removal of 147 horses).

The current population of the Diamond HMA is estimated to be 78 wild horses. Field observations indicate that the horses left on the range are in decent body condition and in areas with available forage.

In the spring, the BLM will conduct a census to determine the post-winter population of the HMA. Should there be fewer horses than the low range of AML of 91 horses, the BLM will return Diamond HMA horses to the range until low range of AML is met. A group of the Diamond horses will be kept and cared for near Carson City to return to the HMA if necessary.

"These actions will ensure that the Diamond HMA will achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance and a healthy, viable wild horse population," said Doug Furtado, Battle Mountain District Manager. "We have been monitoring the Diamond HMA, anticipating that conditions could deteriorate. The series of snow storms that occurred earlier in the year forced wild horses off the mountain into lower areas that lacked forage. Unfortunately, based on the overall poor body condition and lack of forage, and understanding that more than six weeks of winter remains, we decided to remove horses that were struggling or suffering."

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