The BLM claims there are 830 wild horses on the Sulphur HMA. However, when the BLM rounded up wild horses off the Sulphur HMA in 2010, at that time they claimed there were 276. The “gather” report from that roundup states the BLM removed 90, then returned 60 (some of these may have been given fertility control). So, that would leave 246 wild horses at the end of 2010. If we use BLM’s 20% population increase estimate per year, that would add up to about 296 in 2011, then 356 for 2012, then 428 for 2013, then 514 for 2014. We are only 2 months into 2015, but just to be fair, we’ll add another 9 horses. That adds up to a total of 523 wild horses, if none died, and all mares given fertility control gave birth. So, how did the population on the Sulphur HMA suddenly jump to 830? – Debbie
The BLM says the Sulphur HMA has an appropriate management level of 250 horses, but the current HMA horse population is approximately 830 animals
BLM to gather horses in southern Utah
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Utah Cedar City Field Office says it will be gathering and removing wild horses causing public health and safety concerns along Highway 21 near the Sulphur herd management area (HMA). Efforts to remove approximately 100 horses are scheduled to begin on Feb. 26.
Members of the public are welcome to view the daily gather operations once they begin, provided the safety of the animals, staff, and observers are not jeopardized and operations are not disrupted, the bureau says.
The BLM says the Sulphur HMA has an appropriate management level of 250 horses, but the current HMA horse population is approximately 830 animals. This situation has created public health and safety issues for the horses and motorists along Highway 21 near the HMA. Some horses have migrated to the outer most parts of the HMA due to over population and forage limitations and are encroaching on Highway 21.
Beginning Feb. 26, escorted tours for interested public will be provided each day of the gather operations. Participants should meet at the Border Inn Gas Station located on Highway 6 and 50 on the Utah-Nevada Border, 88.6 miles west of Delta, Utah, and be ready to leave promptly at 7:00 a.m. MST. The dates and departure times for public tours are subject to change depending upon weather and gather operations. Please check the gather hotline at 435/865-3030 for changes or updates.
Participants must provide their own transportation, water, and lunches. The BLM recommends wearing footwear and clothing suitable for harsh field conditions. Binoculars and four-wheel drive, high clearance vehicles are also very strongly recommended.
Public lands will remain open unless closures are deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Outdoor recreationists and visitors to the gather area should be aware that there will be low flying aircraft in the area. The BLM requests that pilots avoid flight patterns along Highway 21 and within the Mountain Home area because air-traffic could pose safety risk to helicopters assisting gather operations. These helicopters often change course and altitude quickly. Brief road closures could also be needed to allow movement of horses during gather operations.
Animals removed from near Highway 21 will be made available for adoption through the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program. Those that are not adopted will be cared for in long-term pastures, where they retain their “wild” status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The BLM removed 30 wild horses from the same area on Aug. 1, 2014; 24 of these horses have found new homes with families and trainers and only six remain in the BLM Adoption Program.
For additional information on participating in public observation days, please contact public affairs specialist Lisa Reid at 435/743-3128 or email@example.com. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf can call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800/877-8339 to leave a message or question for the above individual. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.