Federal officials will begin gathering wild horses Saturday from Bureau of Land Management rangelands in northwest Nevada.
The roundup is designed to remove nearly 1,100 wild horses from the range 40 miles east of the Modoc County town of Cedarville, said Nancy Haug, manager of the BLM's Northern California District.
The 1,300 horses in the area, known as the High Rock Complex, are more than the range can support, Haug said. The appropriate wild horse population is between 258 and 451 animals.
Among the horses scheduled for removal are nearly 400 living outside the federal herd-management area, she said.
The agency's goal is to balance wild horse herds with other uses of the public range, Haug said.
The horses gathered in the High Rock area are among about 6,000 animals scheduled for roundup. Some will be removed from the range. Others about 2,000 horses are to receive a fertility-control vaccine and returned to the range.
Critics of the controversial program say it harms horses and foals, and is unnecessary. In response, the BLM has allowed the public to observe the roundups.
Anyone interested in the High Rock roundup should meet with BLM staff at 5:30 a.m. daily at the BLM Surprise Field Office, 602 Cressler St., Cedarville.
Observers are responsible for their own transportation in a high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle, and for providing their own beverages and food for the day.
The BLM will maintain an informational telephone line at (530) 279-2816 to provide daily updates on observation opportunities.