BLM Logo
Utah State Office
Release Date: 04/10/12
Contacts: Contact: Lisa Reid, 435-743-3128    

BLM Announces Operational Changes of the Salt Lake Regional Wild Horse and Burro Center

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is changing the purpose of the Salt Lake Regional Wild Horse and Burro Center (Center) from a large year-round wild horse and burro holding facility to a smaller, short term holding facility.

The Center was originally designed to hold horses only during the summer season when it opened in 1995.  A few years later, the BLM had more wild horses than capacity to house them.  Now there are two other facilities in Utah and more around the Nation that are better suited to hold horses and burros year-round.  Due primarily to lower holding costs, it is the direction of the Wild Horse and Burro Program WH&B) to place horses in long term holding pastures located in the Midwest rather than holding them in short term corral type facilities.  In 2007, a team charged with looking at all the BLM horse facilities throughout the west, recommended closing the Salt Lake Horse Center because of the change in direction of the program and additional facilities.

The change in the use of the facility is related, in part to criticism the BLM received last year, charging that the horses were standing in knee deep mud.  This criticism prompted an internal review of the Center.  The internal review did not find animal abuse, however, the report did recommend that the Salt Lake Field Office (SLFO) hire an agricultural engineer to review the situation and consider options regarding the future of the Center.  The engineer concluded that due to the geographic location of the site, there was not an affordable engineering solution.

The BLM was not able to provide the desired standard of care at the Center and to retrofit the Center would have required a substantial capital investment.  “It is simply a business decision to reduce the number of horses at the Center and redirect the horse program in Salt Lake,” said Jill Silvey, Salt Lake Field Manager. 

The SLFO will continue to have a Wild Horse program.  The program will continue to manage the two Herd Management Areas within the Field Office, hold adoption events and provide service to adopters.   Periodic adoption events will be offered at the Center and the SLFO will continue to hold adoptions throughout the Wasatch front.

The first on-site satellite adoption is planned for May 11-19, 2012 featuring 30 burros and a limited number of horses.  The Center will be open to the public from 9am-3pm and all burros will be available for adoption on a first come, first served basis for $125.00.  Anyone wanting more information regarding the burro adoption should contact Tami Howell, Salt Lake WH&B Lead at (801) 977-4359.

For anyone interested in adopting, please contact the Delta Wild Horse & Burro Facility at 435-864-4068 or the Gunnison WH&B Prison Facility at 435-287-7591 or visit our web-site at

Follow us on Twitter @BLMUtah

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM'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. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Utah State Office   440 West 200 South, Suite 500      SLC, UT 84101-1345  

Last updated: 04-11-2012