SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Bureau of Land Management will host its annual statewide public hearing at the BLM-Utah Price Field 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 this year will be held Dec. 8, from 6-7 p.m., at the BLM Price Field Office, 125 S. 600 West, in Price.
An annual public hearing for comments on this issue is required by Federal Regulation. The hearing in Price will be the only one held in Utah during the 2016 gather season.
“Helicopter and motorized vehicle usage is a critical management tool when managing wild horses and burros on the open range,” said Mike Tweddell, Price wild horse and burro specialist. “These management tools allow us to conduct aerial population surveys, monitor animal distribution and transport captured animals in an effective and humane manner.”
Utah’s current statewide wild horse and burro population numbers currently exceed 5,000 animals, which is well above the approved appropriate management level of 2,000.
Having an over abundant number of wild horses and burros above BLM management levels may cause resource damage resulting in limited forage and water availability, which reduces the number of animals that can be supported on the land.
Price was chosen as the location of this meeting due to the proximity and recent proposal to gather and remove wild burros from the Sinbad Herd Management Area in Emery County. Other proposed gathers include the Conger HMA in Millard County and the Frisco HMA in Beaver County.
Gather location may change due to the available funding, wildfires or availability of water and forage due to drought conditions.
To date, the BLM has removed more than 12,900 wild horses and burros from Utah’s rangelands since the government removals began in 1975. Over 7,400 of the animals have been adopted locally; the remainder of the animals are shipped east for adoption or holding in off-range pastures.
Utah’s 2016 satellite adoptions start in May and continue monthly throughout the state. Adoption locations are tentatively set for Farmington, Salt Lake City, Cedar City and Delta. Daily adoptions are ongoing at the Delta Wild Horse and Burro Facility.
For additional information about the upcoming statewide public hearing or future wild horse and burro adoptions, go online, contact the Price Field Office at 435-636-3600 or the BLM Utah State Office at 801-539-4057.
Email: [email protected]