BLM seeks to improve wild horse population control in the Onaqui Mountain Herd Management Area
SALT LAKE CITY—The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Salt Lake Field Office signed a Decision Record today authorizing population control measures for wild horses in the Onaqui Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA). Population control measures will include enhanced use of fertility control vaccines and the gather and removal of excess wild horses from the HMA.
Chronic wild horse overpopulation is damaging to the long-term health of wild horse herds, other wildlife and the land on which they all depend. The objectives of the approved population control measures are to slow the herd’s population growth and achieve and maintain a balance between wild horses on the range and other public land resources.
Fertility control vaccines will be administered through field darting. Wild horses will be gathered using bait and water traps. Helicopter capture methods will also be employed, the first of which is tentatively scheduled for 2019. Gather details will be posted on the BLM.gov website when available.
The current population of the Onaqui HMA is estimated at 586. The BLM has identified the appropriate management level to be between 121 and 210 wild horses. This population size was determined based on public input, vegetation inventories, allocation of forage, and other resource considerations, in order to support wild horses in balance with other uses and values on public land.
The impacts of the population control measures are described and analyzed in the Onaqui Mountain HMA Population Control EA. The EA and Decision Record are posted on the BLM ePlanning website at: https://go.usa.gov/xQQFE.
BLM staff and veterinarians will prepare horses removed from the range for BLM’s adoption and sale program. For more information on how to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro, visit the BLM National Wild Horse and Burro website at www.blm.gov/whb or call (866) 468-7826.
For additional gather-specific information, please contact Tami Howell at (801) 977-4300. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at (800) 877-8339. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $111 billion in economic output across the country in fiscal year 2019—more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 498,000 jobs.