BLM to begin Reveille wild horse gather

Officials seek to maintain a healthy population size, protect rangeland resources and restore a thriving natural ecological balance.

On or about July 1, 2023, the Bureau of Land Management plans to begin a wild horse gather in and around the Reveille Herd Management Area located in Nye County, approximately 50 miles east of Tonopah, Nevada. According to a BLM press release, this will be accomplished using the helicopter-assisted method.

Reducing overpopulation

The Reveille Herd Management Area (HMA) encompasses over 105,000 acres of public and private lands and has an Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 82-138 wild horses. The most recent census flight of Reveille, conducted in February, 2023, documented approximately 164 adult wild horses, which does not include foals born this year, within and directly outside the management area–nearly 119% above the high end of the established management level.

The BLM plans to gather approximately 129 wild horses, remove approximately 76 excess wild horses, and treat up to 27 mares with GonaCon Equine, a population suppression fertility control vaccine, before being released back to the range along with up to 26 Stallions.

Restoring natural balance

This action is needed in order to achieve and maintain a population size within the established AML, protect rangeland resources from further deterioration associated with the current overpopulation, and restore a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple use relationship on public lands in the area consistent with the provisions of Section 3(b)(2) of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.  

The purpose of the gather is to gather and remove excess wild horses from within and outside the Reveille HMA and to reduce the wild horse population growth rates to achieve and maintain the established AML. The Reveille HMA is currently not in conformance with the 1987 Settlement or the 2001/2002 IBLA Orders which requires the HMA population to not exceed an AML of 138 horses. The primary concern in this HMA is condition and productivity of the arid rangeland, especially in relation to the population in excess of the established AML.

‘Safe and humane’ operations

“The gather is critical to ensuring the health of rangelands within the complex as well as the wild horses in the area, both of which are at risk due to herd overpopulation and severe drought conditions,” said Battle Mountain District Manager Doug Furtado. “We are committed to conducting safe and humane gather operations as we work to protect animal health by reducing overpopulation and bringing herd size more in line with what the appropriate management level.”

long distance shot of a herd of wild/feral horses on the move
A large band of wild horses within the Reveille Herd Management Area/BLM image

By balancing herd size with what the land can support, the BLM aims to protect habitat for other wildlife species such as sage grouse, pronghorn antelope, mule deer and elk. Removing excess wild horses and burros supports significant progress toward achieving the Standards for Rangeland Health identified by the Mojave-Southern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council and stop negative vegetation trends in the HMA and surrounding area.

The BLM’s priority is to conduct safe, efficient and successful wild horse and burro gather operations while ensuring humane care and treatment of all animals gathered. The BLM and its contractors are committed to using the best available science and handling practices for wild horses and burros while meeting overall gather goals and objectives in accordance with the Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program.

Adoption and sales program

All animals identified for removal will be transported to the Ridgecrest Off-Range Corrals, located in Ridgecrest, Calif. Upon arrival to the facility, all animals will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for the BLM’s wild horse and burro Adoption and Sales Program

Members of the public are welcome to view the gather operations, provided that doing so does not jeopardize the safety of the animals, staff and observers, or disrupt gather operations. The BLM will escort the public to gather observation sites located on public lands. Once gather operations have begun, those wanting to view gather operations must call the gather hotline nightly at (775) 861-6700 to receive specific instructions on each days’ meeting location and time.

The BLM is conducting the gather under the DOI-BLM-NV-B020-2020-0006-EA Reveille Herd Management Area Gather Plan Environmental Assessment decision signed on January 17, 2020. Access the Decision Record and determination of National Environmental Policy Act adequacy at

More information

Gather reports and additional information will be posted on the BLM website at For technical information, contact Daltrey Balmer, Assistant Field Manager, Tonopah Field Office (775) 482-7850 or [email protected].

For information on how to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Its mission is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.




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