BLM Resumes Owyhee Complex Wild Horse Gather

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Elko, Nev., District, Tuscarora Field Office will resumed the Owyhee Complex Wild Horse Gather on Friday, Jan. 4, in the Owyhee Herd Management Area 60 miles north of Midas, Nev. The Owyhee Complex is comprised of the Owyhee, Snowstorm Mountains, Little Owyhee, Little Humboldt and Rock Creek Herd Management Areas (HMAs).

The BLM plans to gather about 186 wild horses during this portion of the gather. Of the 186 horses to be gathered, 47 animals will be removed from the range and the remainder will be released back to the range. Of the animals released back to the HMA, about 46 mares will be vaccinated with PZP-22, a fertility control vaccine, prior to release. Any horses gathered above the targeted removal numbers will be released back to the HMA.

Public lands within the HMAs will be open to the public during gather operations, subject to necessary safety restrictions. However, portions of the gather area are located on private property and could be restricted from public access. The BLM will make every effort to allow for public viewing opportunities. The BLM has established protocols for visitors to ensure the safety of the horses, the public, and the BLM and contract staff. The protocols are available online.

Every day will be an observation day with Saturdays being a "Public Outreach and Education" day. On Saturdays, a member of the District leadership will accompany members of the public and, when possible and within safety constraints, members of the public will be permitted closer access to wild horses at temporary holding.

Visitors are encouraged to sign up prior to arriving by calling the Gather Information Hotline at 775/861-6700 and leaving a message, or by contacting Lesli Ellis, Elko District public affairs specialist, at 775/753-0386 or

The gathered wild horses will be transported to the Litchfield Wild Horse and Burro Corrals near Susanville, Calif., where they will be prepared for the BLM adoption program. Un-adopted horses will be placed in long-term pastures where they will be cared for and will retain their "wild" status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The BLM does not sell or send any horses for slaughter.

The Owyhee Complex Wild Horse Gather and its impacts are described and analyzed in the Final Environmental Assessment, which is available online.

The Owyhee Complex Wild Horse Gather originally began Nov. 26, 2012, in the Winnemucca District in the Little Owyhee HMA where 819 wild horses were gathered from an approximate population of 1,097. Daily gather and facility reports are located online.

A Wild Horse Gather Information Line is available at 775/861-6700. A recorded message will provide information on daily gather activities and updated gather schedules. The BLM will also post daily gather reports on its website.

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