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Working for better management options and cohabitation through compromise and communication for the American Wild Mustang

Press Release: BLM Concludes Emergency Rescue Portion of the Tuscarora Gather

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on July 21, 2010

TMP Disclaimer!!! 
The opinions, decisions, and directives outlined in the BLM Press Release below – and any other BLM Press Release past or future – are solely the BLM’s opinions, decisions, and directives. They are in no way, shape, form or fashion a reflection of the opinions held by TMP and its authors / contributors, nor are the decisions and directives exclusively supported by TMP and its authors / contributors. The BLM Press Releases are posted here purely for the purposes of information distribution.
Thank you,
TracieLynn and the TMP Team

BLM Nevada News
For immediate release: Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Contact:  JoLynn Worley, 775-861-6515,

BLM Concludes Emergency Rescue Portion of the Tuscarora Gather

Reno, Nev. — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) concluded emergency gather operations yesterday afternoon within the Owyhee Herd Management Area (HMA) and successfully rescued 636 excess wild horses.  The contractor will relocate the temporary gather and holding facilities to areas within the Rock Creek HMA and resume gather operations on Thursday. The Tuscarora gather area encompasses the Owyhee, Rock Creek, and Little Humboldt HMAs located in northern Elko County, Nev.  The BLM initiated gather operations within the Owyhee HMA on Saturday, July 10, and gathered 228 excess wild horses, but suspended operations on Sunday after it was discovered that the wild horses were suffering from water starvation/dehydration as a result of lack of water. The BLM installed troughs on Monday and began hauling water via tanker to the troughs and a reservoir located within one-fourth to one-half mile of the Star Ridge horses in the northern part of the Owyhee HMA.  Since Monday, July 12 the BLM hauled more than 46,000 gallons of water. The BLM coordinated with local ranchers who own the water rights to allow the BLM to use their reservoirs and wells to provide water to the horses. Also, there are no cattle within this immediate area, but cattle are present in the Chimney Creek pasture and on private lands within the southeast portion of the HMA. Some of the animals were in weakened condition as a result of water starvation/dehydration-related complications.  However, many of the wild horses were in better condition than expected, indicating they had been drinking from the water the BLM had provided. “The water we hauled saved the lives of hundreds of the wild horses we rescued,” said Ron Wenker, BLM Nevada State Director.  “Many of the 636 animals we saved would have died.” Of the 636 excess wild horses gathered, 21 animals died during emergency rescue operations.  However, 18 deaths were not gather related: 13 died as a direct result of water starvation or dehydration-related complications; 5 horses died from pre-existing injuries or deformity and were humanely euthanized.  Three horses died from gather related injuries that occurred in the temporary holding corrals and were humanely euthanized.  The veterinarian report is available on the BLM website at “The success of this rescue also clearly reflects the care, skill and compassion the BLM and the gather contractor used to humanely gather and save these wild horses,” added Wenker. The contractor shipped remaining wild horses Tuesday, July 20, including 69 studs to the Gunnison Prison Wild Horse Training Facility at the Central Utah Correctional Facility, and 52 animals to the Palomino Valley Center near Sparks (41 mares, 7 young studs, and 4 foals).  All the animals arrived safely at the respective facilities without incident, and are being monitored, provided grass hay, water, and electrolytes if needed.  No deaths occurred during transport. During the next several months all the animals will be monitored closely, provided good feed, water and veterinarian care as needed.  They will be wormed, vaccinated, and freeze marked, and all 12 month and older studs will be gelded.  Once the animals have fully recovered they will be made available for adoption to qualified applicants through the BLM’s Adopt-A-Wild Horse or Burro Program.  The public may visit the BLM’s website at for more information about adopting a wild horse or burro. The BLM conducted daily fixed wing aerial reconnaissance to locate the bands and document the on-ground conditions of the wild horses and the public lands.  BLM specialists reported seeing approximately 19 dead horses in various areas within the Owyhee HMA. As more information becomes available it will be posted at the website:  For further comments and questions, the public may call 1-866-468-7826.


9 Responses to “Press Release: BLM Concludes Emergency Rescue Portion of the Tuscarora Gather”

  1. Linda said

    I still don’t understand how they can say “18 deaths were not gather related”. Maybe these horses would have died anyway, but they would have died as they lived – wild and free!

  2. betty said

    this is off topic and a question. I thought I read a letter you had onhere from a Ruby excutive or some thing to the BLM discussing removal of the wild horses. I know Ruby pipeling folks have said they did not ask for the horses to be removed but wasn’t there a letter that suggested other wise? I can’t find it and my meoroy isn’t good enough to quote from it without the source. I hate to ask you becasue I know you are busy but if sucha letter isn’t just my imagiantion, could you repost it?

  3. Deb Bennett said

    So, if they removed all of the horses in this area and all of them are to be put up for adoption, then none will be returned. So from now on there will be no more horses in this area? Great management BLM. I have alot of difficulty believing this statement since no one outside of BLM or Catoor was allowed to observe. Right now, if they said the sky was blue, I’d want to see for myself.

  4. No, there are approximately 122 horses left in this HMA at last count. I don’t recall the specific area at the moment – too early this morning LOL – but I do remember that the area was located near a water source that is sufficient for this amount of horses. I’ve been reassured that BLM will closely monitor the water levels and herd movements to ensure that history does not repeat itself with the remaining 122. I will keep an eye on the situation to make my own assurances of the safety of this herd.

    • Donna Buscemi said

      They knew in May that water was an issue ans said they expected it to be gone by early June and did nothing

      • That’s one of the big ones I am still trying to understand… It just isn’t adding up yet. I’m talking with a few “on the groundies” to see if I can get to the bottom of it – or at least a reason that will make some kind of sense actually be 2+2=4 LOL

  5. sandra longley said

    I would like to add the Northwest section of this HMA is full of water green grass and cows with fences closed in between..guess some one neglected to add that.Yeah, You keep an eye on the rest of those horses..I feel soooo much better now…knowing the BLM doesn’t know there are herds of cattle in that northwest part of the HMA..LOL..and that they rescued the horses– they left in a precarious situation–isn’t there a name for that syndrome?

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