The Bureau of Land Management, Ely District Office, Bristlecone Field Office began an emergency wild horse gather on August 28, on the Jakes Wash Herd Area (HA) located about 30 miles west of Ely in White Pine County, Nevada. The action is needed due to lack of water and declining health of the wild horses associated with herd overpopulation.   

The BLM plans to gather and remove approximately 60 wild horses from around Deadman Well and Blackjack Spring located within the Jakes Wash HA. The gather is expected to last 10 days. The BLM will conduct gather operations utilizing temporary water and/or bait traps consisting of a series of corral panels stocked with water and hay; no helicopters will be used. 

The Jakes Wash HA encompasses approximately 153,663 acres of public and private lands. In the 2008 Approved Ely District Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Record of Decision, Jakes Wash was dropped from Herd Management Area (HMA)status and is to be managed for zero wild horses due to a lack of perennial water being available to maintain healthy wild horses and rangelands long-term. The last gather in the HA occurred in January 2012. Fifty-seven animals were removed. The current population estimate is 136-372 wild horses. 

 

The gather is critical to ensuring the health of the HA lands as well as the wild horses in the area, both of which are in jeopardy due to herd overpopulation and extremely limited water sources. The emergency gather will also help prevent further degradation of the public lands, associated with excess wild horses, and help make progress toward restoring a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship on public lands, consistent with the provisions of Section 1333(b) of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.  

 

“The BLM is committed to conducting safe and humane emergency gather operations as we work to save animal lives by reducing overpopulation,” said Jared Bybee, Acting Bristlecone Field Manager.  

 

The BLM’s priority is to conduct safe, efficient, and successful wild horse and burro 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 wild horses identified for removal will be transported to the Palomino Valley Center Wild Horse and Burro Corrals, in Reno, Nev.,  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 adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit www.blm.gov/whb.

Due to the nature of the bait and water trap method, wild horses are reluctant to approach the trap site when there is too much activity; therefore, only essential gather operations personnel will be allowed at the trap site during gather operations.  

Once the gather begins, gather reports and additional information for the “2020 Jakes Wash Emergency Wild Horse Gather” will be posted on the BLM website athttps://go.usa.gov/xGauQ

For technical information, contact Ben Noyes, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist at (775) 289-1800 or bnoyes@blm.gov.