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Observation Days for Tuscarora wild horse gather
by Tribune Staff
Jul 22, 2010 | 507 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
RENO — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Elko District has tentatively scheduled two observation days — Friday and Saturday — to provide the media and public opportunities to view ongoing BLM gather activities to remove excess wild horses in the Tuscarora gather area in Elko County, about 90 miles northwest of Elko.

The dates are subject to change depending upon weather and gather operations. These will be the only two observation days offered for this gather based on gather site location accessibility and private and public land ownership.

The BLM will rendezvous with interested members of the public in Midas at 7 a.m. and caravan to the gather site, which will be a two-hour drive from Midas. Four-wheel drive, high-clearance vehicles and appropriate shoes and clothing are recommended. The observation days will last about four to five hours, leaving the gather site between 1 and 2 p.m.

Call Debbie Collins at (866) 468-7826 to sign up. Requests will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and be limited to 10 people per observation day. Also, gather operations could be suspended if bad weather conditions create unsafe flying conditions.

The BLM is planning to remove between 1,137 and 1,197 wild horses located on the Owyhee, Rock Creek and Little Humboldt Herd Management Areas (HMAs), including about 425 wild horses located outside the Rock Creek HMA.

The BLM estimates there are about 1,550 wild horses in the gather area and any horses gathered above targeted removal numbers will be released back to the HMAs so that the remaining population is within the appropriate management level range of between 337 and 561. The mares released back to the range would be vaccinated with PZP-22 (Porcine Zona Pellucida) fertility control vaccine.

The gather, removal and fertility control are intended to slow population growth, maintain population size within the appropriate management levels and extend the time before another gather to remove excess wild horses would be needed. Additionally, adjustment of sex ratios of the gathered animals to be returned to the HMAs may be made to 60 percent male to 40 percent female ratios.

Gather operations began on July 10 and are expected to continue through late July. To date, 636 excess wild horses have been gathered and 615 transported to the Palomino Valley Center outside Reno and to the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison, Utah. The public may visit the Palomino Valley Center from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. to noon. At the Gunnison facility, the horses will be paired with inmates who will saddle train and prepare them for adoption.

For more information, photos and updates on the status of the gather, visit www.blm.gov/nv/.
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