Horse News

BLM to Begin Bible Springs Complex Wild Horse Roundup


(Stock photo)

Edited Press Release

BLM Set to Begin Bible Springs Complex Wild Horse Gather

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will be removing excess wild horses from areas within and outside the Bible Springs Complex in Iron and Beaver counties, Utah, beginning Aug. 15.

“The BLM is committed to maintaining a healthy wild horse population and healthy rangelands in the Bible Springs Complex Herd Management Area,” said BLM Cedar City Acting Field Manager Paul Briggs. “By managing herd growth, we are ensuring enough food and water is available for the wild horses, while at the same time protecting public rangeland resources and reducing conflicts with private land owners.”

The Bible Springs Complex includes the Four Mile, Tilly Creek, and Bible Springs herd management areas (HMA). The current wild horse population estimate in the Bible Springs Complex is approximately 619 animals; the BLM plans to gather and remove 100 wild horses from state, private, and BLM-managed lands. Animals removed from the range will be available for adoption through BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program. Those that are not adopted will be cared for in long-term pastures.

The public is welcome to observe daily operations through BLM-escorted tours, provided the safety of the animals, staff, and observers are not jeopardized and operations are not disrupted. Observers must provide their own transportation, water, and food. No public restrooms will be available. The BLM recommends weather appropriate footwear and neutral-colored clothing. Binoculars and four-wheel-drive, high-clearance vehicles are also strongly recommended. Those interested in participating should meet at the Maverik Adventure’s First Stop, 220 North Airport Rd in Cedar City, Utah, where tours will depart at 5 a.m. MST. Details will be announced daily on the BLM gather hotline at 801/539-4050.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

12 replies »

  1. Ranchers Want our Public Lands for their Livestock, and want the Govt. to Stick It to Wild Horses and Taxpayers

    By Vickery Eckhoff as published on AlterNet

    For months, ranchers in Utah’s Iron and Beaver counties have been pressuring the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to remove 697 out of 777 wild horses from public rangeland called the Bible Springs Complex.
    What prompted them was a BLM request seeking voluntary reductions in livestock on public land suffering damage during the long drought. Faced with the loss of cheap forage for their cattle and sheep, the ranchers found a way to deflect the blame and economic burden.

    Wild horses make an easy target; but that’s only as long as the BLM’s and the ranchers’ case for removal goes unexamined. The news media so far has done little probing into the issue—not in Utah, nor elsewhere ranchers lobby to get rid of wild horses.

    Instead, the ranchers and BLM simply assert that the mustangs—and not privately owned livestock-are “overpopulating” and “overgrazing.” This claim is made without any scientific proof. Overgrazing as compared to what, exactly? Cattle and sheep? Neither the BLM nor the ranchers will provide data.

    What is known is that the ranchers have nearly two million acres of grazing allotments in Iron and Beaver counties that overlap eight herd management areas (HMAs) where wild horses are protected. The four HMAs making up the Bible Springs Complex are just a fraction of the more than half-million acres where the wild horses (and private livestock) graze together under “multiple use” land policies. Another nearly million and a half acres of public lands provide further forage exclusively for cattle and sheep…(CONTINUED)


  2. From Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)


    Ignoring GAO Reports, BLM Foregoes Promised Steps to Check Grazing Trespass
    Posted on Jul 18, 2017

    After 27 years of pledges to reform, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has yet to take even the most basic steps to stem illegal grazing, according to a federal lawsuit filed today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Consequently, vast stretches of public rangeland continue to degrade because BLM does little to detect or deter unauthorized grazing.

    Grazing trespass occurs when a rancher grazes more livestock than allowed by his/her permit or releases livestock on public lands without a permit, as the notorious Bundy family has flagrantly done in southern Nevada for the past two decades. In 1990, the Government Accountability Office issued a damning report concluding that BLM lacked any effective controls on illegal grazing. At that time, BLM agreed to implement all five of the GAO recommendations but by last year had only implemented one.

    In 2016, GAO revisited this same topic but found little had changed. Again, BLM accepted all of the BLM recommendations. A year after this latest report, PEER asked BLM what it had done this time to implement the GAO recommendations and how much illegal grazing it had detected during the past year. BLM did not respond and so PEER filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in federal district court today in order to compel answers. The latest GAO report highlighted three major challenges:

    • BLM does not record what appear to be the vast majority of grazing trespasses but does report 859 illegal grazing incidents from 2010 through 2014, yielding $426,000 in fines;
    • Compliance inspections are not a high priority. Some allotments are seldom visited, diminishing inspections’ deterrent effects. On average, each BLM range staff member is responsible for approximately 85,000 acres, an area more than twice the size of Washington, DC, and
    • BLM has not updated its procedures since 1987 and they no longer reflect BLM’s actual practices.

    “Grazing trespass is not just on BLM’s back burner, it is not even in the kitchen,” stated PEER Advocacy Director Kirsten Stade, pointing to growing livestock-related landscape abuse. “In grazing allotments that BLM has assessed, more than 30 million acres – an area the size of New York State – fail the agency’s own Standards for Rangeland Health due to overgrazing.”
    In response to a post-election PEER survey of BLM range staff in nine Western states, less than half felt that “BLM effectively deals with grazing trespass” while more than half agreed that “range management decisions are more driven by politics than resource protection.” As one range conservationist wrote “current regulation and policy don’t allow managers to make timely, meaningful adjustments to livestock grazing to properly manage the land resource.”

    The proposed Trump budget cuts would aggravate these conditions by taking more people out of the field, emphasizing more and faster energy permits while relegating rangeland health to the lowest priority.

    “There is no more fundamental facet of resource stewardship than guarding against that resource being stolen,” Stade added. “It is an understatement to say that BLM needs to do a better job of protecting America’s rangelands but current signs do not bode well.”


    • Have read articles by Mr. Simpson before. The fire brigade idea is a good one, but his opinion that predators are over-running the West is just a little far-fetched. He seems to get his info from outdoor hunting mags.


      • I agree with you, Maggie, about Mr. Simpson. I Emailed him and told him about the hundreds of cougars and thosands of coyotes the USDA kills every year but got no reply. Many other animals are killed also at tax-payers expense.


      • He has also suggested removing all wild horses from their Herd Management Areas and plopping them elsewhere, which may not be the best areas for the horses. With the Act, wild horses were to remain where found.


      • Per this week’s wild horse and burro radio program, Ginger Kathrens mentioned next week there is an “invitation only” meeting being held in Satl Lake City regarding managing our wild horses and burros. One of the organizations with an invitation is… WILDLIFE SERVICES. Ginger alluded that this may mean WS is being groomed to do the killing off our our wild horses, though without public input or consent.

        Since taxpayer dollars pay the wages of all these “managers” there should be some place at the table for the public interest, or else a mechanism to defund both organizations.


  3. “The BLM is committed to maintaining a healthy wild horse population and healthy rangelands in the Bible Springs Complex Herd Management Area,”
    What absolute BS. I wonder how many cattle are on that HMA ?


    • I went looking for an answer to your question, got nowhere on the BLM site after repeated tries, but did find these about the Bible Springs Complex:

      “The BLM allows just 80-170 federally-protected wild horses in this 33-square-mile public lands area, while authorizing the annual equivalent of 1,270 cows and 1,031 sheep to graze the same area.”


      And this, similar numbers but combined cattle and sheep:

      “The BLM allows just 80-130 wild horses in the 33-square-mile Bible Springs Complex, while authorizing the equivalent of more than 2,300 cattle and sheep to graze in the area.
      • The roundup and removal of up to 697 wild horses from the Bible Springs Complex could cost American taxpayers over $30 million. …

      According to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) statistics:
      • Livestock grazing occurs on 22 million acres of BLM land in Utah, while wild horses are restricted to just 2.1 million acres.
      • Fewer than 3,500 wild horses are estimated to live on BLM land in Utah (one horse per 600 acres), while hundreds of thousands of sheep and cattle graze the public rangelands in Utah.
      • The BLM allocates 55 times more forage to privately-owned livestock in Utah than to federally-protected wild horses. (23,472 AUMs [Animal Unit Months] to wild horses vs. 1.3 million AUMs to livestock.).”



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