The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Elko District Office concluded the Maverick-Medicine wild horse gather on Monday, Aug. 5. A total of 64 wild horses were gathered from Cherry Spring in the Maverick Range of the Maverick-Medicine Herd Management Area.

The water trap gather was necessary to prevent a further decline in animal condition caused by minimal forage growth and reduced water availability due to severe drought conditions. This action was analyzed as part of the Three HMA Environmental Assessment released in May 2013.

Appropriate Management Level (AML) for the Maverick Medicine HMA is 166-276 wild horses and the current estimated population is 587 wild horses. BLM has been monitoring the condition of the wild horses due to the on-going drought conditions.

The wild horses removed from the range were sent to Gunnison Correctional Facility, Utah where they will be prepared for BLM’s adoption program. Un-adopted wild horses will be placed in long-term pastures where they will be humanely cared for and retain their “wild” status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The BLM does not sell or send any wild horses to slaughter.

The gather began Aug. 2 and concluded on Aug. 5. No wild horses died or were euthanized during the course of the gather.

“The BLM’s efforts made prior to the gather by hauling water and improving the troughs helped us achieve our goal in just three days,” said Bruce Thompson, Contracting Officer’s Representative and Elko District Wild Horse Specialist.  “By ensuring the wild horses were still in fair shape and accustomed to using this spring, the water trapping worked.  All of the captured wild horses loaded well and adapted quickly to feed and water.”

BLM’s Maverick-Medicine Gather website can be accessed at this address: http://bit.ly/MavMedGather

For more information, contact Lesli Ellis, BLM Elko District public affairs specialist, at (775) 753-0386 or by email at lellis@blm.gov.