BLM to gather wild horses in Calico Complex this weekend
This weekend, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will begin its Calico Complex wild horse gather. The complex is in northwest Humboldt County, Nevada, and includes Black Rock Range, Calico Mountains, Granite Range McGee Mountain and Warm Springs Canyon Herd Management Areas, which amounts to over 584,101 acres, according to a press release.
Based upon the size of the complex and wild horse management plans, the Appropriate Management Level (AML) for this area is between 572 and 952 wild horses. In May, a helicopter survey was completed and approximately 1,593 wild horses were located “within and directly outside” the targeted area, which is about two times over the preferred AML. Therefore, the Black Rock Field Office will use the helicopter-assisted method to gather 1,076 wild horses. 40 mares will be treated with fertility control before being returned to the complex and 1,036 wild horses will be removed and relocated to the Indian Lakes Off-Range Corrals in Fallon where they will be available for sale or adoption.
“We conduct gathers to ensure the health of public lands within the HMAs, and the health of the wild horses in the area,” said Mark Hall, Black Rock Field Office Manager. “As always, we are committed to conducting safe and humane gather operations as we work to protect animal health by bringing herd size down to AML and work to restore a thriving natural ecological balance on public lands and protect it from further deterioration associated with overpopulation.”
Overpopulation of wild horses in the West results in degradation to sensitive riparian areas and overgrazing on key food sources that other wildlife like sage grouse, antelope and mule deer rely upon. Balancing herd size to sustain all wildlife is the goal of these targeted wild horse roundups.