The Bureau of Land Management will resume the Seaman and White River Herd Areas (HAs) wild horse gather south of Ely, on or about Jan. 5, 2020. Gather operations, which employ the use of helicopters, began in November but were suspended when excess wild horses remaining in the White River HA moved into heavy pinyon-juniper in the higher elevations of the wilderness. The BLM plans to gather and remove approximately 150 additional wild horses. The gather is expected to last up to six days.
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 gather is necessary to improve watershed health, protect wild horse health, and make significant progress towards achieving MojaveSouthern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council Standards for Rangeland Health. Wild horses removed from the range will be made available for adoption or sale to good homes through the BLM’s Adoption and Sale Program.
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. For information on how to bring home a wild horse or burro, visit www.blm.gov/whb.
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 Jan. 6, weather and logistics permitting. Those wanting to view gather operations are asked to call the Seaman and White River Herd Areas Wild Horse Gather Hotline at (775) 861-6700 at least one day in advance to receive specific instructions on meeting locations and times. The hotline will be updated each day by 7 p.m.
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.
Once the gather is underway, the BLM will post gather reports and additional information on its website at https://go.usa.gov/xpTmp. For technical information, contact Wild Horse and Burro Specialist Ben Noyes at (775) 289-1836 or bnoyes@blm. gov.