Horse roundup scheduled in the Pine Nut Mountains |

Horse roundup scheduled in the Pine Nut Mountains

by Teri Vance, Appeal Staff Writer

About 320 horses may soon be leaving their home on the range.

A roundup in the Pine Nut Mountains is scheduled over the next two weeks to remove excess wild horses, according to the Bureau of Land Management.

“This is a routine horse gather that’s part of a four- to five-year schedule,” said Dan Jacquet, assistant field-office manager. “We had our last full roundup in 1995.”

Officials may begin gathering as early as Wednesday, using mostly helicopters and some tame horses. It is expected to take between a week and 10 days.

Jacquet said the bureau is working with local wild-horse advocate groups and neighbors in conducting the roundup on federal public lands east of Carson City in northwestern Lyon County.

“The Pine Nuts is a unique area because it’s an urban interface,” he said. “Most of our herd-management areas are in rural Nevada, and they don’t have neighbors who are wild-horse advocates.

“On the flip side, we also have homeowners who are annoyed by the horses. It just adds another level of complexity to the horse-management business.”

The 95,580-acre area has been determined to be able to support up to 118 mustangs, along with the wildlife and livestock that also graze there.

The latest count showed about 439 horses on the range.

“That can be detrimental for both the wildlife and livestock,” Jacquet said. “That’s what these gathers are intended to do — keep the horses to the appropriate number.”

The horses will first be gathered into small pens in the mountains. There, their sex, age and overall health will be determined.

Horses between ages of 6 and 9 will be released back onto the range. The oldest and youngest will be taken to a holding pen in Palomino Valley, where they will be sent to either sanctuaries or adoption facilities.

The heard grows at a rate of 20 to 25 percent each year.

Jacquet said he wants neighbors and other residents to be aware of the roundup, and they should expect to see helicopters flying over the range.

“It’s important that we work with neighbors and these horse-management groups,” he said. “We don’t just want to show up one day with helicopters.”