Horse News

The Devil is in the Details as BLM again removes thirsty wild horses due to “emergency” in the Antelope Valley HMA in Nevada

Antelope Valley grazing allotments (2008)

Before you read BLM’s version of this “emergency” below, be sure to read Cindy MacDonald’s 2008 article “The Devil’s in the Details” on American Herds Blogspot.  We have to wonder how many acres of public lands that the “private land owner” (mentioned by the BLM below) uses to graze their own private livestock, since it seems the entire HMA is used for livestock grazing.  The BLM seems to be giving the public the same ongoing bullshit (literally). –  Debbie

“traditionally the wild horses spend the summers in Antelope then migrate to Antelope Valley for the winter ~ except the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) strung up a new fence up on Hwy 93 effectively trapping the horses and in one area, completely cut them off from any water at all.

Speaking to BLMs Kyle Hansen in the Ely Field Office, Mr. Hansen explained range conditions were so bad due to drought that it “looked like an atom bomb went off” and provided photos as evidence of the dust bowl conditions the wild horses would be forced to try and survive in over the winter in if they were not immediately removed.

He also stated compounding the problem was a local rancher who had allowed wild horses to drink water from his property for years but finally “had enough”,  fenced the area and now the horses that remained would probably die of thirst.” – Cindy MacDonald

Source:  BLM

2017 Antelope Valley Emergency Wild Horse Gather

Progress as of Monday, May 22, 2017

Purpose of Gather:

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Elko District, Wells Field Office, in coordination with the BLM Ely District will begin a wild horse water bait trap gather to remove wild horses on private lands near the Boone Spring Area. The gather is taking place due to a request from a private land owner to remove the excess wild horses.

Details of Gather:

BLM plans to humanely gather approximately 60 wild horses through the use of a water bait trap.

Public Observation: 

Because of the nature of the water gather method, wild horses are reluctant to approach the trap site when there is too much activity. In addition, the gather operations are being conducted on private land. Therefore, only essential gather operation personnel will be allowed at the gather site during operations.

Adoption Information: 

The wild horses removed from the range will be transported to the Indian Lakes Off-Range Corral in Fallon, NV to be prepared for the BLM’s Adoption Program. Learn more about how to adopt a wild horse or burro from the BLM.


This gather will attempt to remove excess wild horses from private land near the Boone Spring area of the Antelope Valley Herd Management Area. The private land owner has requested removal of the horses. The Antelope Valley HMA has an Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 155-259 adult wild horses. As of March 1, 2016, the BLM estimated the population at 1,013 wild horses (not including foals born this year). The BLM Wells Field Office has determined that even though there has been above average amounts of precipitation this winter and spring, there are still no known water sources in the area for wild horses to obtain water later this spring and summer. Learn more about the Antelope Valley HMA.


7 replies »

  1. So – is the “private land” actually privately owned land or grazing allotments that they lease? Certainly appears that both sections of this HMA are over-run with allotments! And now fencing off water? Which of course makes it “necessary” to round up excess horses!


    • Shouldnt fencing off the horses & preventing them from migrating be slightly against the law???????????????? Much less preventing them from getting to water.


      • So they gathered 94 horses, 1 “found dead at trap site” – shipped 90 – so I guess they are holding the other 3 while they “gather” more. Seems like a small quantity for two weeks? But I guess the water traps take longer.


  2. Per NOAA, the Elko precipitation is currently at 176 percent of average. If wild horses strayed off the HMA it is because of the years of MIS-management of our public lands by the BLM in favor of private-profit domestic livestock.

    Per BLM RAS, the Peavey family from Idaho own the Boone Springs grazing allotment lease and run 2,017 sheep (2002 AUMs) from Nov 1st to March 31st every year. In addition to the Boone Springs allotment, the Antelope Valley HMA also includes the SPRUCE, VALLEY MOUNTAIN, WHITE HORSE, SUGARLOAF, FERBER FLAT, UTAH/NEVADA SOUTH, BADLANDS, WEST WHITE HORSE, ANTELOPE VALLEY and the CURRIE allotments.

    This MIS-management is known as “Regulatory Capture”. That is the legal term for how the BLM operates. Regulatory capture is a form of political corruption that occurs when a regulatory agency, created to act in the public interest, instead advances the commercial or special concerns of interest groups that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating. Regulatory capture is a form of government failure; it creates an opening for firms to behave in ways injurious to the public. The agencies are called “captured agencies” and the BLM is an excellent example of this kind of corruption.


  3. This is very revealing of the crookedness and gross unfairness that is going on against the wild horses. What a despicable set up by government officials and ranchers, etc!


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