Wild Horse Education

Covid Update: BLM Mask Policy

Many of our readers have noticed that at the bottom of several of our “roundup updates” this year we have placed covid updates on the areas of the operations.

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As our teams went to roundups we saw BLM and contract staff moving through town, and in close proximity to each other onsite, without masks.

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We noted that at one roundup, the contractor was so incensed by the motels mask policy that they left town, but continued to travel through town and operate onsite without masks. We tracked covid and roundups and found, that from 5-14 days from the first trap being set, covid cases would rise in the area. It may have been a coincidence? but it was worth tracking. 

As the Eagle and Silver King operation moves north, we are noting the same activity as the Ely district runs the operation. Cases statewide may be going down, but where there is a roundup, they go up.

We have been checking with BLM about the policy and, essentially, they have been leaving any restrictions on public lands up to contractors and staff for all of 2020.

BLM has just changed the Covid policy and we wanted to let you know. We thank all of you that have been concerned about our volunteers that go into the field. 

BLM Release:

To protect the health of those who live, work and visit BLM-managed public lands and facilities, and in support of President Joe Biden’s executive order, the Bureau of Land Management is immediately implementing a mask requirement for employees, visitors, partners and contractors in all BLM facilities and buildings. Additionally, masks are required outdoors on public lands where physical distancing is not feasible.

“Ensuring people use masks when physical distancing is not an option and washing hands is the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Mike Nedd, BLM deputy director of operations in a news release announcing the new rules.

“Getting outside and enjoying our public lands is a great way to be active during the pandemic. We want to make sure our employees and visitors remain safe while recreating on BLM-managed land.”

Face masks are now required in all BLM-managed facilities and buildings. Masks are also required on BLM-managed public lands when physical distancing cannot be maintained, including narrow or busy trails, overlooks, and historic homes.

While continuing to deliver essential services to the greatest extent practicable, the BLM is following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and working with state and local health authorities to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission. The agency encourages visitors to contact or visit the website of their local BLM state or district office for the latest office hours and availability, which are subject to change as this situation evolves.

The BLM’s rules for its buildings and facilities are similar to restrictions now in place on National Park Service-administered lands.


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Categories: Wild Horse Education