2:10 PM

News Release
BLM Nevada, Winnemucca District Office, Humboldt Field Office 

Media Contact: Heather O’Hanlon,, 775-623-1567
Nov. 23, 2020


Humboldt River Field Office to begin an Selenite Range HA nuisance wild burro gather 

WINNEMUCCA, Nev. – On or about Nov. 28, 2020 the Humboldt Field Office (HRFO) will begin a nuisance wild burro gather in the vicinity of the Selenite Range Herd Area (HA) located south and east of Empire, Nevada. The town of Empire is approximately 7 miles south of Gerlach, Nevada on Highway 447. The action is needed to address public safety and reduce impacts to private land in the vicinity.

The HRFO plans to gather approximately 200 wild burros from within and adjacent to the Selenite Range HA.  The BLM will conduct gather operations using the drive-trap method.

The Selenite Range HA is one of 4 HAs and 5 Herd Management Areas (HMAs) which make up the Blue Wing Complex. The Selenite Range HA consists of approximately 125,306 acres of public and private lands within Pershing and Washoe counties. The  HA is not managed for wild burros; therefore, the appropriate management level (AML) is 0 burros. The burros have moved into the HA and adjacent lands from other HMAs within the Blue Wing Complex.

Based on recent monitoring, approximately 200 burros have been documented in and adjacent to the HA. Because the HA is not managed for wild burros the BLM will gather and remove up to 200 wild burros from public lands and adjacent private lands.

The purpose of the gather is  to address public safety along Highway 447 and burros that have moved onto private lands in and adjacent to the HA, consistent with the provisions of Section 1333(b) of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

“Burros have been seen in the vicinity and on Highway 447 and present a danger to travelers coming through the area. For reasons of public safety and burro health we need to take this action,” said Winnemucca District Manager, Ester McCullough.


The HRFO aims to protect habitat for other wildlife species such as sage grouse, pronghorn antelope, and mule deer. Removing excess animals would also enable significant progress toward achieving land health standards.

The HRFO’s priority is to conduct safe, efficient, and successful wild burro gather operations while ensuring humane care and treatment of all animals gathered. The HRFO and its contractors will use 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 Policy.

All burros identified for removal will be transported to the Palomino Valley Off-Range Corral, located outside of Sparks, Nevada. Upon arrival to the facilities, all animals will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for the BLM’s Burro Adoption and Sale 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. Please RSVP by Nov. 25 by emailing

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 following COVID-19 guidelines will apply:

  • Facemasks are required for daily safety briefings and in the observation areas.
  • Always stay at least 6 feet from others. Avoid gathering with others outside of your household.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Bring hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol to use if soap and water are not available.
  • Do not attend the gather if you are sick, recently exposed (within 14 days) to someone with COVID-19 or are not feeling well.

The BLM is conducting the gather under the DOI-BLM-NV-W010-2015-0034-EA Blue Wing Complex Gather decision signed on October 23, 2017. Access the Decision Record and Environmental Assessment at

To view daily gather reports and additional information click here. For technical information, contact Wild Horse and Burro Specialist Garrett Swisher at (775) 623-1500 or

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