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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will begin gathering excess wild horses from public lands in northeastern California and northwestern Nevada starting next week. The animals will be made available for adoption through BLM’s national Wild Horse and Burro adoption program.
Northern California BLM District Manager Nancy Haug said herds in these areas have exceeded the population levels that can be sustained on the range, along with wildlife and authorized livestock. These levels were determined through BLM’s land use plans and the environmental impacts analyzed through environmental assessments, both with public involvement.
Beginning Sept. 9, crews will focus on the New Ravendale Herd Management Area (HMA) about 50 miles north of Susanville. About 100 wild horses may be gathered to bring the herd within its appropriate management level (AML) of 15 to 25 animals. The AML is based on a number of factors, including water availability and plant productivity.
During the week of September 14, the gathering shifts to the Cedarville area, with a two-week focus on the Carter Reservoir and Coppersmith HMAs. At Carter Reservoir, along the California-Nevada border east of Cedarville, BLM plans to remove 125 horses to bring the herd population within its AML of 25 to 35 animals. In the Coppersmith HMA, straddling the California-Nevada border northwest of Ravendale, Calif., BLM estimates 86 horses must be removed to bring the herd population to its AML of 50 to 75 wild horses.
Haug explained that BLM gathers wild horses under provisions of the 1971 Wild, Free-roaming Horse and Burro Act. The law requires BLM to protect, manage, and control wild populations as part of a “thriving natural ecological balance on the range” and to remove some animals when herd populations grow too large.
Horses removed from the range will be brought to the BLM’s Litchfield Corrals east of Susanville and will be available for adoption. Animals not adoptable because of age or other reasons will be shipped to BLM long term holding pastures in the Midwest. Information on adopting a wild horse or burro from Litchfield can be obtained by calling (530) 254-6575. Information on wild horse and burro management, including herd population and adoption statistics, can be found at www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov.