BLM to Begin Conger and Frisco Wild Horse Stampede, Removal and Research

Unedited BLM Press Release

Helicopter drive-trapping operations are scheduled to begin Friday, July1

BLM's war on America's wild horses and burros ` photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation
BLM’s war on America’s wild horses and burros ` photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

FILLMORE, Utah – The Bureau of Land Management’s Fillmore and Cedar field offices will soon be gathering and removing excess wild horses from within and outside the Conger and Frisco Wild Horse herd management areas in western Utah.

In these gathers, the BLM will remove approximately 250 excess wild horses from both the Conger and Frisco HMAs to achieve a research population of approximately 100 animals in each area. Based on past gather success, multiple gathers may be needed to achieve this population level. Some horses will be fitted with tracking devices and returned to the range as part of a research project.

Helicopter drive-trapping operations are scheduled to begin Friday, July1. Members of the public are welcome to view the daily gather operations, provided the safety of the animals, staff and observers are not jeopardized and operations are not disrupted.

The BLM will conduct escorted public tours to gather observation sites. Details will be announced daily on the BLM gather hotline, (435) 865-3030.

Those interested in participating should meet at the Border Inn Gas Station at the junction of Highway 6 and 50 on the Utah-Nevada state line, 88.6 miles west of Delta, Utah, where tours will depart at 6 a.m. MST.

Participants must provide their own transportation, water and food. The BLM recommends footwear and clothing suitable for harsh field conditions. Binoculars and four-wheel drive, high clearance vehicles are also 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 helicopters and should avoid recreational use of drones near the Conger Mountain and Frisco Mountain area. Brief road closures may also be needed to allow movement of horses during gather operations.

Gather updates and information will be posted at: . Anyone interested can get updates on Twitter by following @BLMUtah or searching #SinbadGather2016.

Animals removed from the range 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 protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

Some horses will be fitted with radio collars and global positioning system tracking devices and returned to both HMAs. This will provide data on free-roaming horse locations and movement to help the BLM improve understanding of herd behavior.

Details on the EA and the proposed action can be found on the BLM’s planning documents website: .

More information on the population control research project is available from the BLM’s Fillmore Field Office at (435) 743-3100.


  1. I sure wish BLM would use some kind of digital chip that could be inserted UNDER THE SKIN. Placing a tracking device on an animal is a recipe for disaster.


    • And it WAS a disaster when they did it before! Not sure if it was Sheldon, but at some point earlier, they tried this & horses DIED! The idea that they put a collar on a WILD horse – and it grew into the neck – what kind of research is it where they don’t follow up? Actually its the BLM’s research, come to think of it.


  2. It seems that they aren’t to kill them all buy any means possible. These blm that claim too know horses and their college buddies who think they know it all.. I never knew that this was used before but you do have a valid point Margaret. I agree with you that the costs are a record for disaster. These horses are into all kind of environmental snags plus the of oversight by the blm. I think that the only reason they want to do this is to insure where to look when they decide to stampede them again. Isn’t it funny that try seen to leave just enough to enable them to suck Americans dry with theur inflated bills for care and feeding of these horses… Both things that they barely do if at all. Hell they wouldn’t even help that mare that was trying tho driver her foal and finally shot her… That’s blatant neglect.. This is what the taxpayer is funding with their hard earned tax going to stop now because out infuriates me tho no end..


  3. According to Gus Cothran, 150 – 200 animals is the minimum number needed to sustain a genetically viable population. Some argue that that number should be in breeding age adults. These roundups indicate that the BLM plans to reduce these herds to genetically inviable levels. The radio collar research will only add fuel to the fire should some die as a result. Is it too late to put a halt to this?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Have you ever watched a video of what the BLM does to these horses? It is horrifying! They have yet to come up with a good reason for this bullshit but horse people know better! The Wild Horses are good for the ecosystem and keep wild fires at bay by eating all the dead brush! We should as a country start a class action lawsuit against the BLM for horrible abusive acts against our horses and yes I did say Our Horses! They belong to the people and we are paying the BLM to take care of them>>> not destroy them!


  5. Frisco Population change % of change (rounded)
    1-Mar-16 244 98 67%
    2015 146 24 20%
    2014 122 20 20%
    2013 102 -66 -39%
    2012 168 28 20%
    2011 140

    1-Mar-16 285 129 83%
    2015 156 26 20%
    2014 130 21 19%
    2013 109 18 20%
    2012 91 15 20%
    2011 76

    (Data from BLM herd stats)

    As if their usual fabricated 20% annual wild horse increase isn’t bad enough, take a look at the Frisco and the Conger HMA increases. Note that the most recent population JUMPED preposterous percentages. A 67% and an 83% population increase is biologically IMPOSSIBLE in a wild horse herd. Why does BLM do this? To justify their request for funding and as part of their justification to remove as many wild horses as they can in each and every roundup. This is clearly a strategy of managing for extinction. Because population estimates drive nearly all management decisions pertaining to wild horses and burros, accuracy is absolutely crucial and yet BLM continues to use fraudulent and scientifically unsupportable population increases in their decision-making.
    This BLM capture/removal plan can and should be appealed.


  6. In the 1980s similar collaring “research” was done on wild horses with devastating results including collars being embedded into the wild horses’ flesh and some ultimate deaths caused by this collaring procedure. I provide you here with the report link and some highly relevant excerpts from the report.

    “…the horse grew into the collar material, so that the collar
    became imbedded in the animal’s neck. In other cases, the collar abraded
    the skin under the neck where the radio unit was attached, causing an open
    sore that subsequently became infected.”
    “…animals with collars were found dead. One had a collar imbedded
    in its neck”
    “an additional 21 collared horses (4 with marker collars and 17 with radio collars)… were found dead before August 1988.”
    “The wounds caused by tight collars were unquestionably grim in appearance.”
    “There is no doubt that some of the collared animals suffered large and painful wounds.”

    “1991 WILD HORSE POPULATIONS: FIELD STUDIES IN GENETICS AND FERTILITY Report to the Bureau of Land Management U.S. Department of the Interior Committee on Wild Horse and Burro Research Board on Agriculture National Research Council”


    • That’s what I read a while ago! Horrendous – and the reason to do this kind of experimental research again??????????????????????????


    • And the FOALS…what happens to them?


      The issue arose again after the 1989 field season, sparked by a memorandum
      (Sweeney, 1989) that was based on field observations by BLM employees
      who accompanied the research flights, in a separate helicopter, to identify
      collared mares and to observe foals.
      They recorded instances during 1989 when the BLM observers feared that foals may have been separated. After 17 flights over the Wassuks and Clan Alpine areas, one observer wrote,
      “In my opinion, at least five foals were likely permanently separated from their
      mares. … I believe that the [actual] number of foals [lost] … is greater
      than the five.”
      Sweeney’s memorandum concludes “an undetermined number are left behind to become orphaned.”


  7. UTAH

    In Supreme Court documents, the State Bank of Southern Utah confirmed that financial institutions hold an estimated $10 billion in loans and related credit transactions to the public land ranching industry, with the grazing privileges alone worth approximately $1 billion

    The majority of BLM and Forest Service grazing fees are not deposited to the U.S.
    Treasury, but instead are diverted to the “Range Betterment Fund” to pay for fencing,
    water developments, and related infrastructure to support continued livestock grazing
    (see below).

    The Forest Service “escrow waiver” program is further described in M. Salvo. 2002. “Mortgaging Public Assets: How
    Ranchers Use Grazing Permits as Collateral.” Pages 271-273 in G. Wuerthner and M. Matteson (eds.). WELFARE
    5 T. Jones and M. Salvo. 2006. “Mortgaging Our Natural Heritage: An Analysis of the Use of Bureau of Land
    Management Grazing Permits as Collateral for Private Loans.” Distributed report. Forest Guardians, Santa Fe, NM;
    Sagebrush Sea Campaign, Chandler, AZ.
    6 Mortgaging Our Natural Heritage: 5.
    7 Mortgaging Our Natural Heritage: 5.
    8 Brief of Amici Curiae State Bank of Southern Utah in Support of Petitioner, Public Lands Council v. Babbitt, 529
    U.S. 728 (2000).


  8. There is NO verifiable monitoring data to prove Wild Horses are the cause of rangeland deterioration

    Population Control Research Wild Horse Gather for the Conger and Frisco Herd Management Areas May 2016
    Pg 24
    Wild Horse Numbers Controlled by Natural Means

    This alternative was eliminated from further consideration because it is contrary to the WFRHBA which requires the BLM to prevent the range from deterioration associated with an overpopulation of wild horses.


    • GAO Report 1990

      8. We do not agree with BLM’s position that our statement reveals a misunderstanding about how BLM develops its appropriate management levels, We understand that wild horse levels are prepared as part of the land use planning process mandated by FLFNA. However, we do not believe that a level can be justified as representing a sound management decision merely because it is recorded in a land use plan. If a level is developed without regard to land conditions or wild horse range impact, its inclusion in the land use plan does not make it more useful or appropriate. In this connection, BLM provides no evidence to refute our finding (along with the finding of Interior’s Board of Land Appeals) that wild horse levels are being established arbitrarily without a sound factual basis.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Louie, that statement needs to go into every public comment written or oral comment given to BLM and needs to be brought up in every court case.


  9. As the district court explained in Dahl v. Clark, the test as to appropriate wild horse population levels is whether such levels will achieve and maintain a thriving, ecological balance on the public lands. Nowhere in the law or regulations is the BLM required to maintain any specific numbers of animals or to maintain populations in the numbers of animals existing at any particular time. The only law that requires the BLM to maintain populations is the 1971 Congressional law. The law must be followed and the law states, “that wild free-roaming wild horses and burros are to be considered in the area where presently found [in 1971], as an integral part of the natural ecosystem of the public lands”. Thus, an AML established purely for BLM administrative reasons because it was the level of the wild horse and/or burro use at a particular point in time or imagined to be an advantageous population for BLM cannot be justified under statute.


  10. The BLM and Department of the Interior have only themselves to blame for the extremely poor confidence and heightened skepticism from yesterday’s and today’s public. It is clear that the BLM has had a wanton disregard for science, evidence and best-practice. What level of self-deception, ignorance, and incompetence must exist for the BLM to believe for so long it was doing a good job? What sort of unprofessional ethic must exist for a tax-payer funded government agency to knowingly use dubious data to meet public interest and defend its policy in the face of public concerns?

    For the past 40 plus years the BLM and associates have been chipping away at these legal wild horse and wild burro lands and obviously the recovery and reinstatement of wild horses and wild burros would be unfavorable to any financial stakeholders, i.e. livestock permittees, mining and energy corporations, large lobbying trophy hunting “clubs” and many more. But let’s face it … the only persons that have worked for 40 plus years for the extinction of wild horses and burros are those with a financial interest. This has been and continues to be unacceptable, illegal and the American citizens including me are disgusted at the “sell-out” of our lands and resources by the agency that is responsible to protect them … BLM.


    • I just saw that today. So will the public pay more attention when it concerns their health? They certainly don’t want to see the reality of this issue – for instance, the pictures of horses actually going to slaughter & their stories! I wish this would make a difference, but I doubt it.


  11. Hello,… this really is bothersome. There they go with the collars BS again. Is there ANYBODY out there that can get geological on this land? OBVIOUSLY, nothing is thereon the surface to the naked eye…. but is there seeking of petroleum or water resource there? I just wonder if it can be proven to the American public about this ” public ” land and the disastrous treatment of the wild horses and burros that maybe a public outcry can spurn an investigation of the BLM by DOJ, including the total accounting for the funds in AND out.


    • You hit the nail on the head, Cydney.

      The Richfield tar sands has already effected our wild ones and continues to do so as of TODAY with the BLM proposal to rid the White Mountain and Little Colorado of more/all of the wild ones and the same with the Sinbad wild burro HMA.
      The Richfield tar sands plan has been in progress since about 2010 and if you look at the list below you will see that most of these HMAs (plus West Douglas HA) have been heavily captured/removed in recent years.
      The document goes so far as to say, “the management of wild horse and burro herds is not compatible within those portions of commercial tar sands lease areas”. How much clearer can it be! They want the wild ones GONE. Why? $$$$$$$

      TABLE 3.1.3-1 Wild Horse Herd Management Areas within the Oil Shale and Tar Sands Study Area (page 3-167)
      Piceance-East Douglas
      Muddy Creek
      Range Creek
      Little Colorado
      White Mountain
      Salt Wells
      Adobe Town
      PLUS additional legal Wild Horse and Burro Herd Areas are affected – such as the recently zeroed out West Douglas HA

      More Richfield tar sands information:


  12. UTAH

    Fountain Green Off-Range Pasture (ORP) for Wild Horses


    The EA states in 1.6 Scoping and Development of Issues

    “However, the ORP is not intended to be a public viewing area, and as a result, the
    contractor will restrict or prohibit access onto the site by the general public with
    signs indicating that the pastures are private property. Any requests to observe the
    horses or tour the site would be forwarded to the COR and/or PI.”


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