ELY, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has suspended the Seaman and White River Herd Areas (HAs) wild horse gather in eastern Nevada. Due to unseasonably warm and dry fall conditions, excess wild horses remaining in the White River HA are in heavy pinyon-juniper in the higher elevations of the wilderness. The BLM will resume gather operations in January when the horses return to the valleys.

Gather operations began November 12 and concluded November 20. The BLM gathered and removed 294 excess wild horses from in and around the Seaman and White River HAs. The BLM had planned to gather and remove up to 450 excess wild horses. The gather was conducted by the BLM Bristlecone and Caliente field offices, in conjunction with the Basin and Range National Monument.

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 Mojave-Southern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council Standards for Rangeland Health.

The BLM transported wild horses removed from the range to the Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse and Burro Corrals in Ridgecrest, California, to be readied for the BLM’s wild horse and burro Adoption and Sale Program. Wild horses not adopted or sold 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. 

Additional gather information is available on the BLM website at https://go.usa.gov/xpTmp. 

For more information, contact Chris Hanefeld, BLM Ely District public affairs specialist, at (775) 289-1842 or chanefel@blm.gov