BLM to host statewide public hearing on use of vehicles and aircraft in Wild Horse and Burro Program

Wild horses, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management, St. George News

CEDAR CITY  — The Bureau of Land Management Utah will host its annual statewide public hearing at the BLM Cedar City Field Office to discuss the use of helicopters and motorized vehicles in the management of wild horses and burros on Utah’s public lands.

Utah’s statewide wild horse and burro population numbers currently exceed 5,300 animals, which is more than 200% of the approved appropriate management level of 2,000. Having an overabundance 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 the land can support.

“Helicopter and motorized vehicle usage is a critical tool for managing wild horses and burros on public lands,” Gus Warr, BLM Utah Wild Horse and Burro State Lead, said. “These management tools allow us to conduct aerial population surveys, monitor animal distribution, conduct safe and effective gathers, and transport captured animals in a humane and efficient manner.”

Since legislated removals began in 1976, the BLM has removed more than 16,000 wild horses and burros from Utah’s rangelands. Over 8,500 of those animals have been adopted or sold locally; the remainder were shipped outside of Utah for adoption or holding in off-range pastures.

Utah’s 2020 satellite adoptions start in March and continue monthly throughout the state. Adoption locations are tentatively set for Farmington, Salt Lake City, St. George and Delta, Utah. Animals are available for adoption on a weekly basis at the Delta Wild Horse and Burro Facility.

The hearing will take place Nov. 14, from 6-7 p.m. at the BLM Cedar City Field Office, 176 E. D.L. Sargent Drive, Cedar City.

Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question for Lisa Reid. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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