2017 Cedar Mountain HMA Wild Horse Gather
Began Saturday, February 11, 2017
Ended Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Purpose of Gather:
The current estimated Cedar Mountain HMA population is 960 wild horses. This number was derived from aerial inventory of the population, estimated increase, and the known removal of horses from the HMA. The Cedar Mountain appropriate management level (AML) is set at 237 horses within a proposed range of 190 to 390 horses. Wild horses have demonstrated the capability of increasing their population by 18-25% annually. This annual increase can result in doubling wild horse populations every three years, if left unmanaged. The HMA is approximately 197,252 acres in size, and the goal is to manage the horses is a way that allows for self-sustaining populations of healthy horses on a healthy range.
Released mares will be given porcine zona pellucida -22 to control fertility, with the objective of reducing the frequency of future gathers.
Details of Gather:
The BLM will gather approximately 600-700 horses, remove approximately 200-300 adoptable aged horses, and approximately 400 horses will be returned back onto the HMA. Of the mares released back onto the HMA, roughly 200 would be treated with the fertility control vaccine porcine zona pellucida -22 (also known as PZP-22).
The primary gather method used will be the helicopter drive method with some limited helicopter assisted roping (from horseback) if needed to restrain individual horses.
A veterinarian will be on site throughout the capture process. Gathered horses will be loaded into trailers and taken to a temporary holding facility to be sorted. Horses going into the adoption program will be shipped to a preparation facility throughout the gather once there are enough horses to fill a straight deck semi load. All horses being returned to the HMA will be held at the temporary holding until gather operations are over.
Members of the public are welcome to view the daily gather operations, provided the safety of the animals, staff and observers are not jeopardized and operations are not disrupted.
The BLM will conduct escorted public tours to gather observation sites. Details will be announced daily on the BLM gather hotline: (801) 539-4050.
Those interested in participating should meet at the Flying J gas station located at I-80 Exit 99 at 1605 East Saddleback Blvd in Lake Point, Utah, where tours will depart at 5:30 a.m. MST.
Participants must provide their own transportation, water and food. The BLM recommends footwear and clothing suitable for harsh winter field conditions. Binoculars and four-wheel drive, high clearance vehicles are also strongly recommended. Please note that public restrooms will not be available once the tour begins.
Animals removed from the range will be made available for adoption through the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program. Those that are not adopted will be cared for on off-range pastures, where they retain their protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.
The Cedar Mountain HMA is currently home to an estimated 960 horses.This number was derived from aerial inventory of the population, estimated increase, and the known removal of horses from the HMA. This number may fluctuate somewhat due to horse movement between the Cedar Mountain HMA, the Onaqui Mtn. HMA and Dugway Proving Grounds. Fences that might preclude horse movement between the three areas are generally insufficient to deter movement. The current established appropriate management level for the Cedar Mtn. HMA is set at 190 horses on the low end and 390 at the upper level. The HMA is approximately 197,252 acres in size.
This would be the third gather and treatment of the mares on the Cedar Mtn. HMA since 2008. In 2008 there were 70 mares treated with PZP and returned to the HMA. In 2012 there were 143 mares treated and returned to the HMA.