FILLMORE, Utah — On Nov. 29, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Fillmore Field Office will begin gather operations on the Confusion Herd Management Area (HMA) in western Utah. The gather is expected to last approximately 14 days.
The BLM will gather 500 and permanently remove approximately 480 horses captured from BLM-administered lands using the helicopter drive-trapping method. The appropriate management level for this HMA is 70-115 animals and the current population is approximately 661 horses. Horses removed from the range will be transported to the Axtell Off-Range Contract Wild Horse Facility in Axtell, Utah. The BLM anticipates administering population growth suppression in the spring or summer of 2021 on approximately 17 mares that will be returned to the range.
Opportunities are available for the public to observe daily helicopter operations through BLM-escorted tours so long as conditions remain safe for both the horses and participants and ensuring that 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. Details on the BLM-escorted tours will be updated each evening during the gather and announced daily on the BLM gather hotline at (801) 539-4050.
Gather operations will begin on Saturday, November 28, and individuals should meet at the Border Inn located on the Utah-Nevada Border on Highway 6 and historic Highway 50 where tours will depart at 6:00 a.m. MST. Please note that COVID-19 guidelines for visiting parks and recreational facilities will be followed. These guidelines, along with the number of visitors present each day will determine the observation locations.
The following COVID-19 guidelines will apply:
- Always stay at least six feet from others. Avoid gathering with others outside of your household.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Bring hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to use if soap and water are not available.
- Do not attend the gather if you are sick, recently exposed (within 14 days) to someone with COVID-19 or are not feeling well.
Public lands will remain open unless closures are deemed necessary to protect public safety. Outdoor recreationists and visitors to the gather area should be aware that there will be low flying helicopters. During the gather, no recreational use of drones is allowed in the Confusion HMA and surrounding lands within and near the Confusion Mountain area where wild horses may be found. 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: https://www.blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro/utah/2020-confusion-gather. The BLM (@BLMUtah) will also post updates on Twitter using the hashtag #ConfusionGather. To learn more about 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 information, please contact Lisa Reid at (435) 743-3128. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question for the above individual. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.