BLM releases decision to gather wild burros in Utah’s Canyonlands Herd Management Area


Wild Horse and Burro Program - Utah

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To protect rangeland health conditions and the health of wild burro herds, the BLM Richfield Field Office announces the approved gather and removal of excess wild burros within and those that have strayed outside the Canyonlands Herd Management Area (HMA) from public managed lands. The decision authorizes a 10-year gather plan to remove excess burros down to the low Appropriate Management Level (AML) as expeditiously as feasible and to implement population control measures in and around the Canyonlands HMA, located in eastern Wayne County, Utah. 

“The gather decision will help to achieve and maintain an appropriate population size over a 10-year period,” said BLM Richfield Field Manager David Mortensen. “The decision will also assist in gaining information on herd characteristics, collecting genetic samples for monitoring, determining herd health, and providing for public safety.” 

The current population of wild burros in the Canyonlands HMA is estimated at 151 animals, not including foals born in 2023, while the AML is set at 60 to 100 burros. The BLM estimates that up to 91 wild burros need to be removed from the Canyonlands HMA and adjacent lands outside the area to ensure a healthy landscape and reach the AML.  

The Canyonlands HMA is approximately 25 miles east of Hanksville, Utah, in the Horseshoe Canyon area. The Canyonlands HMA encompasses 89,392 acres, and includes several parcels owned by Utah Trust Lands Administration. It is also adjacent to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area on the east and the Horseshoe Canyon unit of Canyonlands National Park on the west. 

BLM Utah manages 19 wild horse and burro herd management areas on nearly 2.5 million acres. To learn more, visit the Wild Horse and Burro Herd Management Areas webpage. For additional information, please contact the Richfield Field Office at 

Two burros facing each other.
Photo by Jeremy T. Dyer, BLM Utah Public Affairs Specialist

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.