BLM to Conduct Emergency Gather in Wildfire-Ravaged HMA

BLM to Conduct Emergency Gather in Wildfire-Ravaged HMA

Forage and water sources are scarce after Nevada's Fox and Lake Range Herd Management Area was burned by wildfire.

Photo: Courtesy BLM Nevada

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will begin an emergency gather of approximately 200 wild horses on Nov. 15 from a portion of the Fox and Lake Range Herd Management Area (HMA), which was recently burned by wildfire. The gather operation is expected to last four to five days and is being conducted by the BLM Nevada’s Winnemucca District’s Black Rock Field Office.

The gather will take place on private land and BLM-administered public land about 20 miles south of Gerlach, Nevada. The Tohakum 2 wildfire burned nearly 27,000 acres of the HMA, including an area containing two critical water sources. The gather is necessary due to the reduced forage available to wild horses in the unburned area, to prevent further deterioration of animal health, and to promote the recovery of the burned rangelands.

The BLM estimated last March the population of the Fox and Lake Range HMA was 530 wild horses, well above the 122-204 appropriate management level that water and forage on the range can support along with other uses of the land. That estimate of 530 horses does not include foals born this year.

The BLM will employ a helicopter for this gather project using a local contractor, Cattoor Livestock Roundup, Inc., out of Nephi, Utah. Wild horses removed from the range will be transported to the Indian Lakes Wild Horse Off-Range Corral in Fallon, Nevada, where they will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for the BLM’s wild horse adoption program.

Members of the public are welcome to view the daily gather operations, provided that doing so does not jeopardize animal, staff, and observer safety or disrupt gather operations. The BLM will escort the public to gather observation sites located on public lands. The BLM anticipates that viewing opportunities will start Nov. 15. Those interested in viewing gather operations must notify Jason Lutterman at 202/304-0967 prior to the desired viewing date to be added to the attendee list and receive specific instructions on meeting times. Participants will meet at the Love’s Gas Station at 825 Commerce Center Dr., in Fernley, Nevada, 89408, each day that public viewing is available.

Participants must provide their own transportation, water, and food. Footwear and clothing suitable for harsh field conditions and four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended. Public restrooms will not be available onsite.

This gather is being conducted under an emergency decision. The decision record and determination of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) adequacy can be accessed at the national NEPA register at go.usa.gov/xn24k. Gather reports and additional information will be posted on BLM’s website at go.usa.gov/xnjYX.

For more information, contact Wild Horse Specialist Garrett Swisher at 775/623-1534 or gswisher@blm.gov.

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