U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
|Conger Complex Gather|
About the Conger and Confusion Herd Management Areas
The two herd management areas (HMAs) are approximately 20 miles north/northeast of Garrison, Utah, and encompass more than 464,000 acres of public and private lands in west-central Utah in Juab and Millard Counties.
The Conger Mountain HMA comprises about 170,990 acres of public and other land. The HMA is located in Millard County, about 20 miles northeast from Garrison, Utah. Topography within the HMA consists of Conger Mountain and the Conger Range within the Confusion Range with long narrow canyons typical of the Great Basin area. Elevation varies from 8070 feet to 5220 feet. Precipitation averages 4-6 inches at lower elevations to 8-10 inches at the highest elevations. Temperatures also vary, from 0 and -10 degrees Fahrenheit in winter to between 100 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit in summer.
Vegetation in the area is made up of four main vegetative types; saltbrush type, black sage-grass type, rabbit brush-grass type, and juniper-pinyon-grass type. Key species include indian ricegrass, bottlebrush squirreltail, galletta, needleanddthread, sand dropseed and winterfat.
Permanent water is available within the Conger HMA through several perennial springs which are Skunk and Willow Springs to the north, Knoll Springs to the West and Conger Spring in the middle of the HMA. Conger Spring is developed and piped to the south where it feeds a pond near the Little Valley Well.
The Confusion HMA comprises about 293,000 acres of public and other land. The HMA is located in Juab and Millard Counties, about 30 miles north from Garrison, Utah. The HMA includes the Confusion Range, Granite and Middle Mountains, and the Coyote Knolls topographic features. These ranges are made up of long, narrow and steep ridges with large flat areas around the Coyote Knolls. Elevation varies from 7200 feet to 4420 feet. Precipitation averages 4-6 inches at lower elevations to 6-8 inches at the highest elevations. Temperatures also vary, from 0 and -10 degrees Fahrenheit in winter to between 100 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit in summer.
Vegetation in the area is made up of three main vegetative types; Saltbrush type, black sage-grass type, and rabbit brush-grass type. There are a few juniper trees that occur on the tops of the low mountain ridges. Key species include Indian ricegrass, bottlebrush squirreltail, galletta, needleanddthread, sand dropseed and winterfat.
Permanent waters are located along the west side of the HMA along the drainage of Snake Valley. These waters originate as springs in what is known locally as the “Salt Marsh.” Horses also water at Coyote Springs which is located on the east side of the HMA in Tule Valley. There is a distance of 24 miles between the two permanent water sources. Water is also available occasionally at the Hole-in-the-Wall Reservoir located near the north boundary of the HMA. During the winter months the horses will utilize snow on the Middle and Granite Mountains.
The Conger Mountain Complex are comprised of the following allotements: The Thousand Peaks, Coyote Knolls, Gandy, Cowboy Pass, Partoun, Skunk Springs, Ledger Canyon, Conger Spring, Buckskin, Painter Spring, and Browns Wash Allotments. here are a total of 18 livestock operators who are currently authorized to graze livestock in these allotments annually. The operators are authorized to use 40,021 Animal Unit Months (AUMs) of forage each year. An AUM is the amount of forage needed to sustain one cow, five sheep, or five goats for a month. The allotments consist of various pastures grazed in rest-rotation and deferred rotation grazing systems. The season of use may vary by 1-2 weeks annually based uppon forage availability, drought conditions, and other management criteria.
The BLM allocated forage for livestock use through the House Range Resource Area RMP/ROD, 1987. Appropriate Management Levels (AMLs) for wild horses were established as a population range 70-115 in the House Range Resource Area Final EIS/RMP, 1986 and the Warm Springs Resource Area Final EIS/RMP, 1987, and population range 40-80 in the Warm Springs Resource Area RMP/EIS, 1986. Adjustments in permitted use have been made through Allotment Management Plans as conditions have changed such as drought and class of livestock changes.
The current estimated population of wild horses is 291 and 368 for the Conger HMA and Confusion HMA, respectively. This number is based on an aerial survey direct count population inventory, adjusting the number 20% to account for horses missed due to terrain and cover and for marker horses not seen, conducted in February, 2010 and includes the addition of the 2010 foal crops. Wild horse numbers have increased an average of 15% per year since the last gathers, which occured in September 2006 for the Conger HMA and September 2004 for the Confusion HMA. The current population of the Conger HMA is seven times over the AML lower limit, and the current population of the Confusion HMA is five times over the AML lower limit.
Based upon all information available at this time, the BLM has determined that 230 and 250 excess wild horses exist within the Conger and Confusion HMAs, respectively, and need to be removed.