The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is expected to begin a helicopter-conducted wild horse gather on or about Jan. 23 within the overpopulated Triple B Complex in Eastern Nevada.

The BLM plans to gather and remove up to 1,000 wild horses; they will treat approximately 250 mares with fertility control and release them, along with about 250 stallions, back into the complex.

The gather operation, which is expected to last approximately a month, is being conducted by the BLM Nevada’s Ely District Office. Approximately 2,766 wild horses will remain in the complex once the gather is completed, the agency said.

The BLM said the purpose of the operation is to prevent undue degradation of the public lands associated with excess wild horses and to restore 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 has a responsibility to manage and protect our nation’s wild horses and the land on which they depend” said Nevada State Director John Ruhs. “By reducing overpopulation and slowing the growth of the Triple B Complex, we’re protecting the overall health and viability of the herd while also reducing the negative impacts to the habitat that overgrazing can cause.”

The current population estimate for the Triple B Complex is approximately 3,842 wild horses. The BLM has set the cumulative appropriate management level (AML) for all the herd management areas (HMAs) within the targeted gather area is 472 to 884 wild horses. The AML is the level at which wild horse populations are consistent with the land’s capacity to support them and other mandated uses of those lands, including protecting ecological processes and habitat for wildlife and livestock, the agency said.

The BLM plans to gather 1,500 wild horses and remove approximately 1,000 horses. The BLM will release approximately 250 mares that will have been treated with the fertility control vaccine PZP-22 to slow the population growth rate of the animals remaining on public lands. PZP-22 is a temporary fertility-control vaccine that can prevent pregnancy in wild horses for one to two years. In addition, approximately 250 gathered stallions will be selected and returned back to the range.

The Triple B Complex is located in both the BLM Ely and Elko Districts and consists of the Triple B HMA (Ely), Maverick Medicine HMA (Elko), Antelope Valley HMA west of Hwy 93 (Elko), and Cherry Springs Wild Horse Territory (Elko). The gather could also expand to areas outside of those HMAs where wild horses have moved in search of food and water and are creating a public safety hazard by traveling regularly across Jiggs Road.

All removed horses will be transported to the Palomino Valley Wild Horses and Burro Adoption Center in Reno, Nevada, where they will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for the BLM’s wild horse and burro adoption program. For information on how to adopt a wild horse, visit

The BLM said its 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 our overall gather goals and objectives in accordance with current BLM policy, standard operating procedures, and contract requirements.

Members of the public are welcome to view the daily gather operations, provided that doing so does not jeopardize the safety of the animals, staff and observers, or 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 Jan. 23, weather and logistics permitting. Those wanting to view gather operations must notify Public Affairs Specialist Greg Deimel at 775/388-7078 prior to the desired viewing date to be added to the attendee list and receive specific instructions on meeting locations and times.

The gather is being conducted under the DOI-BLM-NV-E030-2017-0010-EA Antelope and Triple B Complexes Gather Plan Environmental Assessment decision signed on Dec. 21, 2017. The decision record and determination of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) adequacy can be accessed at the national NEPA register at

Once the gather is underway, gather reports and additional information will be posted on BLM’s website at For technical information, contact Wild Horse and Burro Specialist Ben Noyes at 775/289-1836 or