Friday, July 6, 2012

BLM concludes Jackson Mountains wild horse gather

4 KRNV Reno, NV

WINNEMUCCA, Nev. (KRNV & -- The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Winnemucca District concluded the Jackson Mountains wild horse gather on Thursday, July 5, with 647 excess wild horses gathered from the Jackson Mountains Herd Management Area (HMA). The HMA is located about 60 miles northwest of Winnemucca, Nev., in Humboldt and Pershing counties.

Leading up to the gather, which was deemed an emergency, the BLM installed water tanks and hauled water to the southern portion of the HMA in an effort to alleviate some of the pressure of little water for so many animals. The human presence scattered the animals for weeks, and when they returned they were in far worse condition, so this showed that an effort to water trap the animals would be futile. The BLM began the gather in the southern portion of the HMA June 8 and gathered 424 wild horses. That part of the gather concluded June 22 when U.S. District Court Judge Howard McKibben enjoined the agency from gathering excess wild horses from the northern area of the HMA by helicopter before July 1, due to foaling season, which concludes June 30.

When the gather began, the estimated population in the HMA was 930 wild horses, which includes the 2012 foal crop. The Appropriate Management Level (AML) for the HMA is 130 to 217 wild horses. This gather does not achieve the desired low AML of 130 wild horses on the range, and there will be two to three follow-up gathers over the next 10 years.

The gathered wild horses have been transported to the Palomino Valley Center near Reno, Nev., where they will be prepared for the BLM adoption program. Un-adopted horses will be placed in long-term pastures where they will be humanly cared for and retain their “wild” status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The BLM does not sell or send any horses to slaughter.

The Jackson Mountains Herd Management Area (HMA) is approximately 283,000 acres in size. This is considered the primary gather area, although the total gather area is approximately 775,000 acres to encompass wild horses residing in non-HMA areas in their search for water, forage and space.

Removing the excess wild horses and wild burros will help to achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship as required under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, and Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as well as help to achieve and maintain healthy wild horse and burro populations.

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