BLM Hauls Water to Wild Horses in Eastern Nevada

The agency is supplementing spring sources impacted by drought to prevent further declines in animal health.

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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Nevada’s Ely District is hauling water to wild horses in the Big Sand Spring Valley portion of the Pancake herd management area (HMA), about 60 miles west of Ely, to supplement spring sources impacted by drought and prevent further declines in animal health or mortalities.

Since Aug. 30 the district has been hauling water to Martilletti Spring, which is estimated to be flowing at a rate of a half-gallon per minute, insufficient to meet the demands of the 75-plus horses that depend upon the water. On Sept. 8 the district also began hauling water to nearby Moody Spring upon receiving a report of three deceased horses. Moody Spring is flowing at a rate of about one gallon per minute, which is also insufficient to meet the needs of the estimated 200-plus horses gathering to drink. The affected horses’ body condition scores range from 4 to 1.5 on a 9-point scale.

The BLM continues to monitors drought conditions district-wide. As late as July, water sources in the area were keeping up with usage, in part due to precipitation received in May and June. Those sources have since dried up, resulting in additional horses seeking water at the few remaining springs.

The BLM estimates there are 1,800-plus wild horses in the Pancake HMA, about 1,000 of them in Big Sand Spring Valley. The appropriate management level for the Pancake HMA is 240-493 wild horses

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