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BLM to Begin Wild Horse and Burro Gather in Northwest Nevada

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

The Bureau of Land Management on Monday, September 27th, will begin gathering excess wild horses and burros from public lands managed by its Applegate Field Office in far northwest Nevada.

The BLM plans to gather up to 1,220 wild horses and permanently remove 1,050 from the range in six herd management areas collectively called the Surprise Complex, a name referencing the BLM’s Surprise Field Station in Cedarville. The BLM may release up to 170 animals back to the herd management areas, if needed, to maintain viable populations. Mares released back to the range will be treated with fertility control drugs to slow herd population growth.

There are about 10 burros in the area, and all will be removed, as the herd management plans do not allow for burros.

“Our goal is to maintain healthy wild horses on healthy lands in balance with other authorized range users,” said Craig Drake, manager of the BLM Applegate Field Office in Alturas. “The wild horse populations in the six herd management areas within the Surprise Complex have grown well beyond the population range established in the land use plan. The Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, a federal law, requires us to remove from the range animals in excess of the appropriate management levels.”

The BLM will designate public viewing areas at all capture sites and allow public observation daily. Those who wish to view operations should reserve a spot by calling the BLM Public Affairs Officer Jeff Fontana at 530-260-0189.

Each viewing site can accommodate no more than 10 visitors. In accordance with protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visitors will be asked to maintain six feet of distancing and to wear face masks where distancing is not possible.

On most days, members of the public will meet at 6:00a.m., at the Rabbit Traxx gas station and mini mart, 580 Patterson St. (intersection of Patterson and California Route 299) in Cedarville.

BLM staff will lead viewers to the observation area. Any changes in meeting times will be noted in a message on the phone line listed above.

Visitors must provide their own transportation in a high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle. They should be sure vehicle tires are sound. They must have a good spare tire and tire changing equipment. Visitors should be prepared for a full day in changing weather conditions ranging from cold mornings to hot afternoons. They should bring plenty of water and food.

The BLM recommends bringing a folding chair, sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. There is no shade or restroom facilities at the viewing sites. Most sites will have no cell service. Travel time to some capture sites is over two hours each way on dirt and gravel roads.

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