BLM Plans to Thin Wild Horse Herds in Northeast Nevada

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has announced plans to gather and remove nearly 1,000 wild horses from public land in northeastern Nevada, citing insufficient forage caused by drought conditions.

Plans call for the removal of about 400 wild horses from the Antelope Valley Herd Management Area and about 550 of the animals from the Antelope HMA.

John Ruhs, the BLM's Ely field manager, said the appropriate management levels are 23 to 38 horses for Antelope Valley and 194
to 324 horses for Antelope.

"We're gathering these horses now while they're healthy," Ruhs said. "In 60-90 days, that is not going to be the case. These are
planned gathers that we've moved up because there just isn't enough
forage to support this many animals.

The BLM and ranchers also are reducing livestock use in the areas, BLM officials said, and the intent of the gathers is to maintain "a thriving natural ecological balance" between wild horses, wildlife, livestock and vegetation.

The horses will be taken to the National Wild Horse and Burro Center and other facilities near Reno, as well as the Delta Corrals in Delta, Utah, where they will be prepared for adoption.

The BLM has conducted similar roundups elsewhere across the state in the past.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-12-09-07 1939EST