ELY, Nevada – The Bureau of Land Management (BoLM) Ely District is hauling water to wild horses in the Big Sand Spring Valley portion of the Pancake Herd Management Area (HMA), about 60 miles west of Ely, Nev., to supplement spring sources impacted by a drop in the water table from drought, mining and other uses.
According to the BoLM, the District has since Aug. 30, been hauling water to Martilletti Spring, which is estimated to be flowing at a rate of a half-gallon per minute, insufficient to meet the demands of the 75-plus wild horses that depend upon the water. After receiving a phone call on September 8th from a member of the public reporting three deceased wild horses, the District immediately began hauling water to nearby Moody Spring. Because of the drop in the water table, the spring is flowing at a rate of about one gallon per minute, insufficient to meet the needs of the estimated 200-plus wild horses gathering to drink.
The BoLM claims they continually monitor drought conditions, district wide. As late as July, water sources in the area were keeping up with usage, in part due to precipitation received in May and June. Those sources have since dried up, resulting in additional wild horses seeking water at the few remaining springs.
The federal agency in charge of protecting America’s wild horses does not have accurate head counts and estimates there are 1,800-plus wild horses in the Pancake HMA, about 1,000 of them in Big Sand Spring Valley.
Unverified reports have come in that the BoLM is dumping water in a dry pond creating a deplorable mud pond and not providing troughs for fresh water.
Protect Mustangs is a 501c3 nonprofit organization who protects and preserves native and wild horses.