The Bureau of Land Management has announced it will conduct an emergency roundup of wild horses causing public safety concerns along State Route 21 (running from Milford to Garrison) in Utah’s western desert.
About 100 horses will be removed from the range near the Sulphur Herd Management Area because of their encroachment on the highway.
BLM officials are worried about collisions between the animals and motorists because limited forage and overpopulation have combined to pushed them out of traditional foraging areas.
The Sulphur Herd Management area has an appropriate management level of 250 horses, but the current population is approximately 830 animals.
Interested members of the public, beginning Feb. 26, will be provided escorts each day of the gather operations.
Participants should meet at the Border Inn Gas Station at Highways 6 and 50 on the Utah-Nevada border, 88.6 miles west of Delta, and be ready to leave at 7 a.m.
Dates and departure times for public tours are subject to change depending upon weather and gather operations, with updates provided on a hotline: 435-865-3030.
Participants have to provide their own transportation, water and lunches. The agency recommends wearing footwear and clothing suitable for harsh field conditions. Binoculars and 4-wheel drive, high clearance vehicles are also very strongly recommended.
Burgeoning wild horse populations have been a source of frustration and central to a pair of lawsuits filed against the BLM by counties, impacted ranchers and the school trust lands administration.
Last summer, both Iron and Beaver counties threatened to round up the horses themselves if BLM didn’t act, and commissioners traveled to Washington, D.C., to plead for intervention from national offices.
The Utah BLM was able to get emergency funding for one roundup later that year.