Animals

The Black Rock Field Office will begin a wild horse gather within the Fox – Lake Range Herd Management Area

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WINNEMUCCA, NEV. On or about December 10, 2021, the Black Rock Field Office (BRFO) will begin gathering wild horses in and around the Fox and Lake Range Herd Management (HMA) area located in central Washoe County, approximately 60 miles north of Reno, Nevada. The Fox-Lake range consists of 172,692 acres of BLM land and 5,032 acres of a mixture of other private and public land for a total of 177,724 acres.

BRFO plans to collect approximately 88 wild horses, remove approximately 20 wild horses, and process and release approximately 40 mares from the gathering area. Released mares will be handled through the Gona-Con Equine Fertility Control System. BRFO will conduct assembly operations using a helicopter-assisted method.

The total appropriate management level (AML) for the Fox-Lake HMA domain is 122-204. In June 2020, the BLM conducted a flight or population inventory with the current estimated population of 154 wild horses, including foals born this year. The last assembly was completed in 2017.

The purpose of the assembly is to prevent undue or unnecessary degradation of public lands associated with excess wild horses, to restore a thriving natural ecological balance and a mixed-use relationship on public lands, consistent with the provisions of Section 1333(b) of the 1971 Wild Horses and Free-Roaming Horses Act. By balancing herd size with what land can support, BRFO aims to address resource issues related to drought, past fire damage, and habitat protection for other wildlife species such as sage grouse, pronghorn antelope, and mule deer. Removing excess animals will make significant progress towards achieving rangeland health standards.

“BLM’s priority is to conduct safe, effective and successful wild horse collections while ensuring humane care and treatment for all animals collected,” said Black Rock Field Office Director Mark Hall. “BLM staff and contractors will use the best available scientific and handling practices for wild horses while achieving overall goals and objectives in accordance with the comprehensive animal welfare policy.”

All wild horses identified for removal will be transported to Palomino Valley Center Off-Range Wild Horse and Burro Corrals near Reno, Nevada, where they will be examined by a vet and prepared for the BLM’s wild horse and boro adoption and sale program. For information on how to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit www.blm.gov/whb.

Members of the public are welcome to view assembly operations, provided it does not endanger the safety of animals, employees, contractors and observers, or disrupt assembly operations. The BRFO crew will escort the public to collect observation posts located on public lands.

The staff expects viewing opportunities to be limited due to logistics related to the particular land, terrain and weather. Pending location of trap sites, viewing opportunities are subject to change. If the traps are placed on private property, public monitoring will not be offered. If the traps are on public land, public monitoring is offered daily. Once collections have begun, those who wish to view collections should call the collection hotline the night before you wish to monitor collections no later than 5:30 PM at (775) 861-6700 to RSVP. RSVP is highly recommended due to potential last minute trap site moves.

BRFO conducts the meeting within the Smoke Creek Complex, Wild Horse, and Burro Gather Decision Log signed in April 2018. To view the decision log, go to https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/92722/510.

Collecting additional reports and information on the “Fox-Lake Range Wild Horse Gather” will be posted on the website at https://www.blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro/herd-management/gathers-and-remove/ Black-Rock-Foo / 2022-Fox-Lake. For technical information, contact the Garrett Swisher, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist at 775-623-1500 or email BLM_NV_WDO_WHB@blm.gov.

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