Horse News

BLM to begin 2nd Year of the Conger Wild Horse Roundup and Research Study

Note:  The BLM has set the AML (Appropriate Management Level) for the Conger HMA in Utah (170,993 acres) at ONLY 40-80 wild horses – not even a viable herd number.  How many stallions are they going to geld?

                                                                                                                (Photo: BLM)

From BLM News Release:

BLM to begin Year 2 of the Conger Wild Horse Gather and Research Study

Public welcome to observe gather operations

FILLMORE, Utah The BLM Fillmore Field Office is planning to begin gather operations on Tuesday, Nov. 28 in support of the research wild horse gather in the Conger Herd Management Area (HMA) west of Delta, Utah.

“This gather is in year two of a research study that is being conducted on wild horse behavior and ecology, said BLM West Desert District Wild Horse Specialist Trent Staheli.  “It will examine the behavioral effects of gelding, population dynamics, fertility, reproductive rate, recruitment rate, age-specific survival and mortality, habitat selection, movements and habitat range among other things.”

Research is being conducted at the scale of both the individual and population levels and is in coordination with the United States Geological Survey Fort Collins Science Center and Colorado State University within the Conger Herd Management Area.

The public is welcome to observe daily operations through BLM-escorted tours provided that the safety of the animals, staff and observers are not jeopardized and that operations are not disrupted.  Observers must provide their own transportation, water and food.  Public restrooms will not be available. The BLM recommends weather appropriate footwear and neutral-colored clothing. Binoculars and four-wheel drive, high clearance vehicles are-strongly recommended.

Those interested in participating should meet at the Border Inn Gas Station at the junction of Hwy 6 and 50 on the Utah-Nevada state line, 88.6 miles west of Delta, Utah, where tours will depart at 6:30 a.m. MST. Daily adjustments to this schedule and specific details will be recorded daily on the BLM gather hotline, (801) 539-4050.

Visitors and observers to the gather area should be aware that low flying helicopters will be used as part of the operation.  Flying Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) near the Conger Mountain ranges north of Highway 6 and 50 will be prohibited during the gather. Brief road closures may also be needed to allow movement of horses during gather operations.

All horses gathered will be shipped to the Delta Wild Horse Facility.  The facility will be closed starting Nov. 27 through Dec. 18 to allow the researchers to study the horses before being returned to the range.

Gather updates and information will be posted at:  Updates are available via Twitter by following @BLMUtah or searching #CongerGather. To learn more about the Wild Horse and Burro Program, visit the BLM National Wild Horse and Burro website at:

An environmental assessment is available via 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.

For more information on this event, please contact Public Affairs Specialist Lisa Reid at (435)743-3128 or Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question for Reid. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.

8 replies »

  1. This is how they zero out the HMAs.
    The Conger, for example (per BLM herd stats), in preparation for this capture of July 2016 (and again now) pushed the supposed population up 83% between March 2015 and March 2016. That would require the total herd of 156 horses (including stallions/very old/very young) to have produced 129 successful surviving foals in ONE year. Not likely!
    They do these bogus herd increases in order to get funding for the capture and to give them a free hand to capture as many as they can (eventual zeroing out).
    They did this same thing in order to get funding and approval for the 2010 capture in the Conger. BLM said that this herd increased between March 2009 and March 2010 (drum roll) 141% in ONE year. That would require the total herd of 101 horses (including stallions/very old/very young) to have produced 142 successful surviving foals in ONE year.
    I say … FRAUD!
    This method works perfectly for BLM and until the public and the lawmakers become aware of this fraud … the BLM will continue to use this practice until our wild ones are gone from their legal lands.


    • GG. have you uncovered any evidence the BLM takes horses from holding and dumps them in HMAs to increase the population “estimates” then rounds them (and the resident horses) up again later? Since so many off range horses are kept from sight intentionally (and we know many are never branded), this would seem to be very plausible and allow them to accurately claim they “counted” all those in the HMA. The only way to be sure is for citizens to keep carefully documenting the resident animals, and any strange appearances of “new” horses.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Note that this study does not include such factors as increased signs of inbreeding such as parrot mouth, born the size of a miniature horse, failure to reach normal (average heard height), locked back legs, making it difficult for horses to run on land. Furthermore, the most important factor would seem to be the amount of genetic variability that remains in the herd. This and the observed changes above, would help predict future herd health.

    The BLM is seeming to use techniques discussed at a 2005 meeting on the Assateague Island wild horses.

    This is so wrong. The BLM is the most dishonest, feckless federal agency imaginable. They need to be defunded and our wild horses freed on the lands that Congress provided for them.

    In his 2000 August Report Dr. Gus Cochran provided a formula for a wild horse herd to maintain genetic variability for 200 yrs. a MINIMUM number of wild horses in a herd would be between 150-200. In that random herd a third of the horses would be too old or too young to contribute to the genetics of the herd.

    So if you start at 150 and subtract that 50, you have 100 wild horses left. The maximum number of foals that could be boring in any year cannot exceed the number of mares of reproductive age. Gestation in horses is over 11 months, so no horse could contribute more than one foal per year. Of that crop of new born foals, there will be a certain number that will not survive the first year. I have read no studies where there is a 100% first yr. survival rate for foals, but research tells us that foals that are born in spring when the weather is warming and the forage is coming back, and where the number of predators is low to non-existent, survival numbers are higher.

    Then there are the number of older horses in a herd that die. The average age at death for wild horses is 15, likely due to problems with teeth, heavy parasite load, or injuries making them less. likely to survive in the wild. But of course, the biggest threat to wild horses is the human form in the guise of a US government agency.


  3. United Horsemen are posting they want their people to call Congress and ask to kill the SAFE ACT once and for all. Given their blaze move to shove the SAFE ACT out we NEED A CALL TO ACTION TELLING EVERYONE TO TWEET, FB, CALL, EMAIL, AND FAX SUPPORT TO THE SAFE ACT. PLEASE LET’S CPUNTER THEIR BLATANT DUBIOUS ATTACK TODAY. THE SAFE ACT IS SO IMPORTANT TO CHANGING THE HORSE INDUSTRY FOREVER.

    Liked by 1 person

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