BLM wild horse gather

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Nevada’s Elko District, Wells Field Office, will begin a wild horse water and bait trap gather on or about June 25. Corrals will be placed near the Ferguson Springs area located just outside of the Goshute Herd Management Area (HMA). The BLM plans to gather and remove approximately 125 wild horses.

The Ferguson Springs are located on private land about one-third of a mile west of Alternate U.S. Highway 93. The BLM said the wild horses in the area have been directly impacting a private land owner and creating a public safety issue when they cross Alternate U.S. Highway 93. The excess wild horses who water at Ferguson Springs cross the highway to graze farther outside of the HMA boundary, creating public safety concerns and private land issues, the agency said.

The Goshute HMA is approximately 250,800 acres in size and the area around Ferguson Springs is located just east of the HMA boundary. The southern portion of the Goshute HMA is very dry with very few perennial waters; the limited water resources are small seeps mainly found in the mountains, the BLM said. Ferguson Springs is located about 22 miles southwest of Wendover, Nevada, on private land (80 acres) just outside the Goshute HMA.

The BLM will conduct this operation by using temporary water and bait traps consisting of a series of corral panels stocked with water and hay; no helicopters will be used. Because of 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 operation personnel will be allowed at the trap site during operations, the agency said.

The horses identified for removal will be transported to the Indian Lakes Off-Range Wild Horse and Burro Corrals, in Fallon, 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 or burro, visit blm.gov/whb.

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.

The BLM is conducting the gather 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, finding of no significant impact, and environmental assessment document is in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and can be accessed at the national NEPA register at goo.gl/HQJ73h.

Once the gather is underway, the BLM will post gather reports and additional information at go.usa.gov/xUqeN. For technical information, contact Bruce Thompson, wild horse and burro specialist, at 775/753-0286 or b50thomp@blm.gov.