BLM invites public to horse gather site


Elko Daily Free Press, July 23, 2013

ELKO — The public is invited to see how a wild horse and burro water trap gather works and see firsthand the range conditions due to limited water.

The Elko District, Bureau of Land Management will host a tour Saturday of Cherry Spring within the Maverick-Medicine Herd Management Area, where a wild horse water/bait trapping gather operation is planned.

The public will also see viewing locations that will not interfere with gather operations, and possibly see wild horses.

The tour is scheduled 8 a.m. beginning at the Elko District Office and is anticipated to last five hours, but public can leave at their leisure.

Participants are requested to sign up by calling Lesli Ellis, Elko District public affairs specialist, at 753-0386.

The tour will include travel over gravel and dirt roads and over difficult terrain. A four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended.

Unknown-5Participants should also bring a bag lunch, plenty of water and sunscreen.

This gather operation was analyzed as part of the three HMA environmental assessment released on May 13. That EA can be viewed at the BLM Elko District website.

The appropriate management level of wild horses within the Maverick-Medicine HMA is 166-276 wild horses and the current estimated population is 587. More than 80 horses have been observed near Cherry Spring, which flows at about 14 gallons an hour.

This flow can adequately support about 20 horses.

The Elko District has been hauling water to Cherry Spring since 2003 and this year hauled more than 15,000 gallons of water beginning at the end of May.

With the lack of precipitation, the BLM expects there will be a lack of available water for horses in the months ahead.

The gather is based on limited water and forage and on the adverse impacts to the range being caused by wild horses concentrating on this site.


Habitat for Horses is a 501.c.3 nonprofit equine protection organization supported solely by donations. As of today, we have 175 donkeys and horses under our care, plus one ornery, old mule. Most of them are here because law enforcement removed them from their previous owner. Our ability to rehabilitate and rehome them comes from the financial support of people like you. Please support us by making a donation for the horses we all serve. Click HERE to donate

AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
  • shirley mix


    July 24, 2013
  • JanSchultz

    To the south of Ruby Lake – which is a huge natural collection of ponds and creeks flowing to the west towards the White PIne County line, there are two very LARGE open pit mines which look to be about 1 to 2 miles in width. I wonder if the tour will discuss the impact of those mines on the sagebrush or why the BLM thinks they need to collect horses out of an area that s loaded with natural water sources. I think it is simply to keep the money flowing that is earmarked for the horse and burro program. I haven’t read the EA, but am sure the horses are blamed for degradation of riparian areas. What a joke. There is also evidence of an airstrip out there called Ruby Ranch Airstrip. Why an airstrip?

    July 24, 2013
    • susane tagayev

      I very much agree with all you said. The BLM continues to roundup horses giving all the same excuses every time drought, land conditions, starving horses when we know all to well it has to do with their own greedy agenda. Mining, fracking, grazing and water permits. Funny how you never see the cattle suffering from any of these condition! BLM tell nothing but lies! ~Palomino Sue

      July 29, 2013
  • Margaret

    I just drove through Elko a week ago. It wasn’t a huge thunderstorm–kinda more like a good watering you give your plants–storm. That was in the afternoon. I don’t know about the morning, but I do know that Chubbock ID had an electrical storm that morning cause I drove that too.

    Nevada is dry. I never understood why PVC used precious water for those sprinklers instead of shade. It seemed to me from day 1 that it was the worst conservation I had ever seen. But then I lived through a major drought where we were restricted to certain usage or pay hefty fines.

    I’m sorry I don’t have funds to go back to Elko. Nor do I have the energy. I came home from being gone and three days later was back out on the road again. I just don’t have the energy for another ten hour ride to Elko.

    Sure wish that BLM would consider putting this on YouTube forums to see and digest…

    July 24, 2013
  • Sally Schoeneweiss

    If water in Nevada is so precious and drought conditions prevail, then why is this happening?

    On June 28, 2013, the BLM Ely District office issued a Preliminary Environmental Assessment for their upcoming December 2013 Oil and Gas Lease Sale, which is offering 399,873 acres of public lands in their district.

    It seems that BLM pays attention if you have $$$ rather than doing the right thing and honoring the right of the horses to continue to occupy this land, even if temporary measures to provide water might be necessary.

    Miners and gas companies will suck Nevada dry of water and residents will pay sky high prices in the future. Then will people question the BLM’s decision as well as motivation?

    July 29, 2013