The Bureau of Land Management’s Bristlecone and Caliente field offices, in conjunction with the Basin and Range National Monument, will begin a wild horse gather on or about November 11 on the Seaman-White River Herd Areas located near Ely, Nevada. The purpose of this gather is to remove all excess wild horses from areas not designated for or suitable to their long-term management and prevent further degradation of public lands.
In the 2008 Ely Resource Management Plan, the BLM decided to manage this area for zero wild horses as it no longer met the criteria for maintaining a thriving ecological balance with multiple uses as authorized under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976. The current population estimate for the Seaman and White River HAs is 526 wild horses, excluding the 2019 foal crop. The gather is necessary to improve watershed health, protect wild horse health, and make significant progress towards achieving Mojave-Southern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council Standards for Rangeland Health.
The BLM Ely District will conduct gather operations using the helicopter-assisted method. The Seaman and White River HAs are located in the BLM Ely District on public lands administered by the Bristlecone and Caliente field offices and Basin and Range National Monument. The gather may also take place in areas outside the HAs where wild horses have moved in search of food and water. The gather is expected to last approximately 14 days.
The BLM’s priority is to conduct safe, efficient, and successful wild horse gather operation while ensuring humane care and treatment of all animals gathered. The BLM and its contractors will use the best available science and handling practices for wild horses while meeting overall gather goals and objectives in accordance with the Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy.
All horses identified for removal will be transported to the Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse and Burro Corrals in Ridgecrest, California, where they 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 daily gather operations, provided that it does not jeopardize the safety of the animals, staff or observers and that it does not disrupt gather operations. The BLM will escort the public to gather observation sites located on public lands. The BLM anticipates that viewing opportunities will begin on or about November 12, 2019, weather and logistics permitting. Those wanting to view gather operations are asked to notify Public Affairs Specialist Chris Hanefeld at (775) 289-1800 prior to the desired viewing date to be added to the attendee list and to receive specific instructions on meeting locations and times.
The BLM is conducting the gather under the DOI-BLM-NV-L000-2017-0006-EA Seaman and White River Herd Area Gather Plan Environmental Assessment decision signed on May 31, 2018. Access the Decision Record and determination of National Environmental Policy Act adequacy at https://go.usa.gov/xVkPF.
For information on how to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit www.blm.gov/whb.