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.
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.
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