BLM to begin wild horse gather in southwestern Utah


Bureau of Land Management

BLM Office:

Cedar City Field Office

Media Contact:

CEDAR CITY, Utah — The Bureau of Land Management Cedar City Field Office will begin gather operations to remove excess wild horses from within and outside of the Blawn Wash Herd Management Area and Bible Spring Complex Area located west of Cedar City in southwestern Utah on Sunday, Aug. 7. The gather is expected to last approximately 13 days and the public is invited to observe from a safe distance. 

“The BLM’s priority is to conduct a safe and successful wild horse gather operation, while ensuring humane care and treatment of the animals,” said BLM Cedar City Field Manager Paul Briggs. “The excess wild horses are located on semi-desert landscapes where forage and water are exceedingly scarce due to prolonged drought. The gather operation combined with fertility control measures are the first step in restoring a thriving and natural ecological balance to the area and maintaining that balance into the future.”

Opportunities are available for the public to observe daily gather operations through BLM-escorted tours, if conditions remain safe for both the horses and participants and 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 due to terrain and weather conditions. Details on the BLM-escorted tours will be announced daily on the BLM gather hotline at 801-539-4050.

Beginning on Sunday, Aug 7, daily convoys of individuals interested in observing the gather will depart promptly at 5:30 a.m. from the Maverik Adventure’s First Stop located at 220 North Airport Road, Cedar City, Utah.

The BLM will gather approximately 450 excess wild horses from BLM-administered public lands using the helicopter drive-trapping method. Population growth suppression will be implemented to help reduce the birth rate of area horses. The appropriate management level for this herd management area is from 80 to 170 animals with a current population of approximately 831 horses, including an estimated number of foals born this year. Horses removed from the range will be transported to the contracted Axtell off-range corrals in Axtell, Utah.

Public lands will remain open unless closures are deemed necessary to protect public safety. Outdoor recreationists and visitors near the gather area should be aware there will be low-flying helicopters. During the gather, no recreational use of drones will be allowed in the Blawn Wash Herd Management Area and Bible Spring Complex and surrounding lands within and near the Wah Wah Mountains and Indian Peak Range in western Beaver County, Utah. Brief road closures may also be needed to allow movement of horses during gather operations. 

Gather updates and information will be posted on the BLM’s website at:  The BLM (@BLMUtah) will also post updates on Twitter using the hashtag #BlawnWashBibleSpringComplexGather. To learn more about how to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit the BLM National Wild Horse and Burro website at or call 866- 468-7826. 

For additional information or for reasonable accommodations to participate, please contact Lisa Reid at 435-743-3128.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.