Submitted photo
The Bureau of Land Management has concluded a wild horse gather at Pancake Complex, abut 30 miles west of Ely, on Feb. 14.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Battle Mountain, Tonopah Field Office and Ely District, Bristlecone Field Office concluded the FY2022 Pancake Complex wild horse gather about 80 miles northeast of Tonopah or 30 miles west of Ely, on Feb. 14. The BLM gathered and removed 2,054 excess wild horses from public lands. The BLM treated with a population suppression vaccine and released 18 previously treated mares. Six studs were also released.

The purpose of the gather was to reduce overpopulation of wild horses within and outside the Complex, where there was not enough water and/or forage to support the number of horses in the area, to prevent further degradation of the public lands associated with excess wild horses and restore a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship on public lands.

The gather was conducted in compliance with the provisions of Section 1333(b) of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. Removing excess animals will enable significant progress toward achieving the Standards for Rangeland Health identified by the Northeastern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council. In addition, 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 and mule deer.

“The gather was crucial to ensuring the health of public lands within the Complex as well as the wild horses in the area, both of which are at risk due to herd overpopulation and exceptional drought conditions,” said Robbie McAboy, Ely District Manager.

The BLM transported the animals removed from the range to the Indian Lakes Off-Range Wild Horse and Burro Corral, in Fallon; Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Center, in Sparks; and Sutherland Off-Range Corral in Sutherland, Utah, 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 FreeRoaming Horses and Burros Act.

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