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Wild Horse Roundup in Second Week

A wild horse roundup designed to return herds to sustainable levels is now in its second week on northwest Nevada public lands overseen by the Bureau of Land Management’s Surprise Field Office in Cedarville, California.

As of Wednesday, Oct. 26, crews had removed 573 wild horses from three of the five herd management areas (HMA) in the High Rock Complex in Washoe and Humboldt counties, Nevada.

Additionally, 37 wild horses were returned to the Bitner and Nut Mountain HMAs to ensure that populations remain at appropriate management levels. The mares were treated with a contraceptive drug, effective for about two years, in an effort to slow on-the-range population growth of the wild herds. Some stallions were also released.

“The removal of excess wild horses from these herd areas will help us ensure that we retain healthy wild herds and healthy rangelands in balance with other authorized users of the range,” said Nancy Haug, manager of the BLM Northern California District, which is overseeing the operation.

In the roundup, three horses have died from gather-related incidents, while one horse died in a post gather accident and three were euthanized due to poor health or medical conditions that existed prior to the roundup.

In the population management project scheduled to run well into November, the BLM hopes to remove about 1,000 horses from the range to reach a combined appropriate management level of 251-458 wild horses for all five HMAs.

The current wild herd population is nearly 1,600 wild horses, including about 400 animals roaming outside of HMAs.

Information and statistics about the gather operation is available online at The website is updated daily and includes links to the BLM’s Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and Twitter sites. It also includes environmental review documents related to the roundup.

Under provisions of the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, the BLM is responsible for establishing wild horse and burro population levels and for removing excess animals when the population exceed those limits.

Horses and burros removed from the range are offered for public adoption. Those not adopted are placed in Midwestern pastures where they live out their lives, retaining their wild status and protection under the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

More information on wild horse management and adoption opportunities is available at


Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso Publisher/Editor
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