There are more than 5,300 wild horses and burros in Utah. Because of this excessive amount of animals, the Bureau of Land Management is considering alternate ways to preserve its resources.
The BLM believes that an overabundance of wild burros and horses could damage the ability of the land to provide forage and water. The BLM approved the number of animals is 2,000: the current population exceeds that manageable level by 200%.
The agency is hosting the Annual Wild Horse and Burro meeting to discuss a potential solution. This meeting will include the public in a discussion of the use of helicopters and motorized vehicles to manage the animal population.
“Motor vehicle usage is a critical tool for managing wild horses and burros on public lands,” said Gus Warr, State Lead for the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program. “These management tools allow us to conduct aerial population surveys, monitor animal distribution and conduct safe and effective gathers.”
The annual hearing about using helicopters and motorized vehicles to manage the wild horse and burro population will take place on Thursday, Nov. 14 from 6-7 p.m. at the BLM Cedar City Field Office.
Since 1976, the BLM has removed more than 16,000 wild horses and burros from Utah’s rangelands. More than 8,500 of those were adopted or sold locally and the remainder were shipped outside of Utah for adoption or holding in off-range pastures according to a BLM press release.
Adopting a wild horse or burro in Utah can be done weekly at the Delta Wild Horse and Burro Facility. Tentative satellite adoption locations are Farmington, Salt Lake City, St. George and Delta, and are expected to start in March 2020.
Story by: Ben Pollchik
Photo courtesy of: BLM