BLM plans to round up 1,000s of wild horses

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WINNEMUCCA — U.S. land managers are planning to round up more than 2,800 wild horses across four counties this week in an effort to reduce pressure on the drought-stricken rangeland.

The Bureau of Land Management announced details of the operation Friday, saying the current wild horse population across portions of Pershing, Humboldt, Churchill and Lander counties is more than six times what it should be.

Officials said there’s not enough water and forage to support that number.

“Herd overpopulation and severe drought conditions have cumulative impacts on public lands, including wild horse health that must be mitigated,” said Chris Mitchell, the manager of the agency’s Humboldt River Field Office.

Mitchell said the goal is to restore an ecological balance across millions of acres of public land in Northern Nevada. The area also includes habitat for the greater sage grouse as well as bighorn sheep, mule deer and pronghorn antelope.

The horses that are rounded up as part of the operation will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for the agency’s adoption and sale program.

Earlier this year, horse advocates were unsuccessful in stopping another roundup after a federal judge determined the Bureau of Land Management appeared to be complying with the law and doing everything it could to gather the wild horses as humanely as possible.

The Bureau of Land Management reported in November that it has removed nearly 70,000 wild horses and burros and treated nearly 5,600 with fertility control since 2018 as part of its plan to reduce the issues caused by overpopulation, overgrazing and severe drought.


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