Vermillion Cliffs--Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
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Onaqui Gather

About the Onaqui Herd Management Area

The Onaqui Mountain HMA is currently home to an estimated 159 horses or a range of 127 to 191 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 Mtn HMA, the Onaqui Mt. 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 Onaqui Mt. HMA is set at 121 horses on the low end and 210 horses at the upper level. The HMA is approximately 206,795 acres in size.

Dependable summer water sources are a major problem. In drought years, natural water sources may dry up, generating the need for water to be trucked in. Hauling water is a financial impact to the BLM and the transportation infrastructure. In times of reducing budgets, there is no certainty that BLM will be able to continue to haul water to wild horses in sufficient quantity to insure the quality of their existence and avoid mortality. During drought, increased stress is also placed on the water sources and adjacent vegetation as horses congregate around troughs whether or not water is in the spring.



Map of Onaqui HMA