CEDAR CITY — The Bureau of Land Management Cedar City Field Office is starting operations to gather and remove excess wild horses in the North Hills Joint Management Area that is located west of Enterprise and jointly managed by the BLM and U.S. Forest Service.
The gather begins today and is expected to last approximately seven days.
The BLM will gather approximately 250 horses from federal, state and private lands within and near the management area. The current estimated population of the North Hills Joint Management Area is 317 horses, 528% above the appropriate management level of the 40-60 horses identified for this area.
Opportunities are available for the public to observe daily operations through BLM-escorted visits so long as conditions remain safe for both the horses and participants and ensure that gather operations are not disrupted. Observers must provide their own transportation, water and food. No public restrooms will be available. The BLM recommends weather-appropriate footwear and neutral-colored clothing. Binoculars and four-wheel drive or other high clearance vehicles are also strongly recommended.
To protect the wild horses and the horse gather operations, no drones will be allowed to be flown in the vicinity of the gather sites. Details on the BLM-escorted visits will be updated each evening during the gather and announced daily on the BLM gather hotline at 801-539-4050.
For those interested in observing the gather, individuals should meet at the Maverik Adventure’s First Stop gas station located at 220 N. Airport Road in Cedar City, where visits will depart at 5:30 a.m.
Horses removed from the range will be transported to the Axtell Off-Range Contract Wild Horse Facility.
Public lands will remain open unless closures are deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Outdoor recreationists and visitors to the gather area should be aware that there will be low flying helicopters. The recreational use of drones is discouraged from the southwest corner of Iron County, stretching southeastward from the Nevada border just south of Modena and west of Enterprise. Brief road closures may also be needed to allow movement of horses during gather operations.
Gather updates and information will be posted online. Anyone interested can get updates on Twitter by following @BLMUtah or searching #NorthHillsGather. To learn more about how to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit the BLM National Wild Horse and Burro website or call 866-468-7826.
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