Special to The Ely Times 

The Bureau of Land Management will begin a wild horse gather near Ely on or about July 8. 

The purpose of the gather is to reduce overpopulation of wild horses in Eastern Nevada and to prevent further degradation of public lands by helping to balance herd size. 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 population of wild horses in the gather area, known as the Triple B Complex, was estimated at 3,381 as of March 1 – more than 10 times above the target population of 474-889 wild horses. By balancing herd size with what the land can support, the BLM aims to protect habitat for other wildlife species such as sage grouse, pronghorn antelope, mule deer and elk. 

The BLM’s priority is to conduct safe, efficient and successful wild horse gather operations 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 Palomino Valley Center Wild Horse and Burro Corrals in Sparks, where they will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for the BLM’s wild horse and burro Adoption and Sale Program. 

The BLM Elko and Ely districts are conducting the gather operation, which will employ the use of helicopters. The gather may also take place in areas outside the complex where wild horses have moved in search of food and water, creating a public safety hazard. About 2,581 wild horses will remain in the complex once the gather is completed. This project is expected to last about 20-25 days.  

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 July 9, 2019, weather and logistics permitting. 

More than 245,000 wild horses and burros have been placed into private care since 1971.  Many becoming outstanding work, show, or pleasure companion animals. 

For additional information, contact Public Affairs Specialist Chris Hanefeld at (775) 289-1800 for information on how to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit www.blm.gov/whb.

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