350 wild horses target of BLM ‘bait-and-trap’ 150 miles north of Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A roundup with the goal of removing 350 wild horses is scheduled to begin Monday about 150 miles north of Las Vegas.

The Bureau of Land Management announced plans Thursday to use temporary bait and water traps to lure wild horses in the area around Caliente, a small town on U.S. 93 in Lincoln County. The Caliente Complex contains nine herd areas that cover 911,890 acres of public and private lands within a 40-mile radius of the town. The last roundup in that area was in 2019.

“The BLM manages the Complex for zero wild horses due to insufficient forage and water to
sustain healthy and viable herds long-term,” according to a news release. “A helicopter survey conducted in February 2024 documented 1,022 wild horses within and directly outside the herd areas.”

Bait-and-trap gathers don’t use helicopters. Recent roundups using helicopters have brought a lot of negative attention to the BLM’s herd management practices. Horses have been injured trying to elude capture. The severity of injuries resulted in decisions to kill several of the horses.

Public observation at the trap site won’t be allowed: “Due to the nature of the bait and water trap method, wild horses are reluctant to approach the trap site when there is too much activity; therefore, only essential gather operations personnel will be allowed at the trap site during gather operations.”

The BLM announced this week it would proceed with roundups on public lands around the country with the goal of removing 20,000 wild horses and burros each year for the next four years.

“Gathering excess wild horses will help the BLM to restore a thriving natural ecological balance on the range and protect it from further deterioration associated with horse overpopulations, as well as protect habitat for wildlife species, including such threatened and endangered species as desert tortoise and southwestern willow flycatcher,” according to Robbie McAboy, BLM Ely District Manager. “As always, we are committed to conducting safe and humane gather operations as we work to protect animal health by bringing herd sizes down.”

The horses gathered near Caliente will be taken to corrals in Utah, where they will be prepared for adoption or sale.

Original News Source Link – KLAS

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