Confusion Herd Management Area

Confusion Herd Management AreaConfusion Herd Management Area

The Confusion Herd Management Area (HMA) is located approximately 90 miles northwest of Delta in the Confusion Mountains. The HMA is bounded by Cowboy Pass on old U.S. 50 & 6 on the south and the Weiss Highway on the north. Horses can usually be found anywhere throughout this HMA.

The Confusion HMA contains 235,000 acres of federal and state land.

The vegetation on this HMA is dominated by sagebrush/shadscale/bunchgrass communities.
                                                                                                                    Click map for larger view

The original source of the animals in this herd is unknown, but it has been augmented through historic times, and probably up until the late 1960s, with domestic horses from local ranches. 

The herd has a large number of gray and light colored horses and is being managed to maintain these colors. These horses also tend to be a hand or so taller and a bit heavier than other West Desert horses. This may be due to the proximity to the ranches at Gandy, Partoun, and Trout Creek, and the possibility that domestic stock was introduced into the herd prior to 1970.

The BLM management goal for this herd is to maintain a herd size between 70 and 100 head.

We Need Your Help

We invite you to view wild horses, however it is unlawful to chase and/or catch them. Foals, pregnant mares and older horses are easily hurt when pursued, so please allow them to live a free and unharassed life.

Help our wild horses by reporting illegal activity. Contact the BLM Fillmore Field Office at (435) 743-3100 or call BLM Law Enforcement at (801) 539-4286.

Best Opportunity for Viewing

Travel west from Delta on Highway 50 & 6 approximately 90 miles to the Utah/Nevada border. Turn north at the road sign to Gandy. Travel north approximately 12 miles to the intersection with old Highway 50 & 6 at Robinson's Ranch. Turn east at the sign (through the ranch) and travel approximately six miles to Knoll Springs. Horses may be viewed early or late in the day at the springs or in the foothills of the Conger Mountains to the southeast. Continue east up old Highway 50 & 6 approximately five more miles to the intersection of the Gandy/Foote's Ranch Road. Turning north towards the Gandy Salt Marsh complex. Horses are frequently seen along the benches and riparian areas between the road and the Confusion Mountains.

Wild horses are naturally wary. They are best viewed with binoculars at a distance. When approached, they will normally spook and run for cover. We invite you to view wild horses, however it is unlawful to chase and/or catch them. Foals, pregnant mares and older horses are easily hurt when pursued, so please allow them to live a free and unharassed life.

Special Travel Conditions

The roads to Confusion Herd Management Area are county maintained roads traversable by passenger cars during dry weather. All other viewing areas in this HMA require high clearance vehicles.

BLM Herd Management Areas

In 1971, Congress passed legislation to protect, manage, and control wild horses and burros on the public lands. The Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act declared these animals to be "living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West."

Congress further declared that "wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death..." and that they are "...an integral part of the natural system of the public lands."  Furthermore, Bureau regulation requires that wild horses and burros be considered comparably with other resource values within the area.

The Bureau of Land Management maintains and manages wild horses or burros in "herd management areas" (HMAs).

In the ten states where BLM manages horses, there are 270 herd areas. In Utah, about 3,600 horses are found among 23 different herds scattered across the state. Two herds of burros, with about 100 animals, are found on public lands in southeastern Utah.

Management Objectives

A management objective for the herd area is to ensure proper utilization of the area by wild horses at a level sufficient to guarantee their continued existence without exceeding the overall carrying capacity for all animals--livestock, wildlife and horses.

Another objective is to develop a recreation and viewing area for the public to observe wild horses in a natural setting