Tuesday, June 8, 2010

BLM to Host Public Hearing for 2010-2011 Utah Wild Horse Gathers

Photo Courtesy BLM

Salt Lake City, Utah The BLM Utah will host a public hearing at the West Desert District Office to discuss the use of helicopters and motorized vehicles in the management of wild horses and burros on Utah’s public lands. The hearing will be held on, June 9 at 6:30 p.m., at 2370 South 2300 West, Salt Lake City, Utah. An annual public hearing for comments on this issue is required by federal regulation. The Salt Lake City hearing will be the only one held this year in Utah.

“Using helicopters and other advanced equipment is crucial in our efficiency and maintaining safety in wild horse management,” said Jared Redington, Salt Lake Wild Horse and Burro Facility Manager. “We have found the use of helicopters is the most humane method in gathering horses from the open range and remote mountain areas where they live.”

Utah’s current wild horse population is about 2,700. Drought conditions and increased wild horse numbers cause limited forage and water availability, which reduces the number of animals that can be supported on the land. BLM Utah gathers an average of 300-400 horses annually from public lands to help control horse populations. Horse populations can increase 15 to 25 percent every year.

BLM and its contractors plan to start gathering excess wild horses from various herd areas across the state in August. Gather locations may change due to available funding, water and forage conditions or wildfires. Herd areas scheduled for wild horse population reduction include: Winter Ridge (Unitah County), Confusion and Conger (Millard and Juab Counties), Sulphur (Iron and Millard Counties), North Hills (Iron and Washington Counties), and Chokecherry and Mt.Elinor (Beaver and Iron Counties).

The BLM has removed more than 14,000 wild horses and 500 burros from Utah’s rangelands since government round-ups began in 1975. More than 6,700 of these wild horses and burros have been adopted locally, and the remainder was sent east for adoption. Adoptions are set for Cedar City and SpanishmFork in August. Daily adoptions are ongoing at the Delta Wild Horse andmBurro Facility and the Salt Lake Regional Wild Horse and Burro Center nearmHerriman. Monthly adoptions are held on the first Tuesday of each month June 1 through Sept. 7, at the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison.

For additional information about the upcoming public hearing contact Jared Redington at (801) 561-4632, or the BLM Utah State Office at (801) 539-4057. For information on future wild horse and burro adoptions, visit http://www.ut.blm.gov/  , or contact the Delta Wild Horse and Burro Facility 435-864-4068, 600 N. 350 W., Delta, Utah, or the Salt Lake Wild Horse and Burro Center 877-224-3956, 8605 W. 12600 S., Herriman, Utah.

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