BLM to remove wild horses from Spruce-Pequop HMA in Nevada

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Wild horses on the Antelope Complex, of which the Spruce-Pequop Herd Management Area is a part. Bureau of Land Management photo.

The Bureau of Land Management was set to begin an “emergency” bait-and-trap roundup of about 300 wild horses in the Boone Spring area of the Spruce-Pequop Herd Management Area in northeast Nevada due to what the agency says is a lack of water and forage.

“Boone Spring currently has minimal to nearly nonexistent water, which cannot sustain the more than 300 wild horses that have been observed on a regular basis waiting for water at this location,” BLM said in a press release. “The area is remote and the roads are not passable for a water tender.”

The 138,000-acre Herd Management Area is home to an estimated 1,523 wild horses. The BLM-set Appropriate Management Level is 57-82 wild horses.

According to a BLM environmental assessment prepared in 2017, the Boone Springs allotment has a permitted sheep use of 2,947 Animal Unit Months from late fall to early spring. One AUM is the amount of forage needed to sustain one cow-calf combination, one horse, or five sheep for a month. Ten-year average sheep use there was 1,026 AUM.

The wild horses removed will be transported to the Indian Lakes Off-Range Corral in Fallon, Nevada, where they will be prepared to be offered for adoption, according to the press release.