ELY—The Bureau of Land Management Ely District, Bristlecone Field Office will begin a gather operation on Monday, Sept. 25, 2017 in the Water Canyon portion of the Antelope Herd Management Area, 60 miles north of Ely.  The BLM is using bait and water to gather the horses.

The management level for the Water Canyon portion of the Antelope HMA is 30-35 wild horses. Management objectives are to maintain a 50/50 ratio of studs to mares therefore the objective is to gather all the horses in the area. All mares released will be retreated with the fertility-control vaccine GonaCon-Equine to reduce foaling rates and overall population growth. Following the gather, the BLM may offer for adoption at the White Pine County Fairgrounds some of the younger horses. Details will be announced as they become available. The BLM will transport all removed horses to the Indian Lakes off-range corrals in Fallon, Nev., where they will be prepared for adoption through the BLM Wild Horse and Burro adoption program.

The gather is part of the 10-year Water Canyon Wild Horse Growth Suppression Pilot Program, which will provide the BLM the opportunity to determine the effectiveness of GonaCon-Equine on a small group of wild horses in a controlled environment with the possibility of expanded usage in future years, depending on the program’s results.

Stabilizing and maintaining a population of 30-35 wild horses within the Water Canyon portion of the Antelope HMA is the program’s goal. The management number is based on range conditions, water availability and acreage comparisons, as well as seasonal movement during the summer and drier winter months.

Supporters of the project include the Northeastern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council, Lincoln, Nye, and White Pine County Commissions; and Nevada Department of Agriculture. Local resident and wild horse advocate Jeanne Nations is the Volunteer Project Coordinator.

The Water Canyon Wild Horse Growth Suppression Pilot Program Final Environmental Assessment, Decision Record and Finding of No Significant Impacts is located at http://on.doi.gov/1PKK0Jg. Additional gather information is available on the BLM Nevada Gather and Removal Website.

For more information, contact Ben Noyes, BLM Ely District wild horse and burro specialist, at 775- 289-1836 or bnoyes@blm.gov.