Beginning in February 2012, the BLM plans to gather an estimated 469 wild horses from the Cedar Mountain and Onaqui Mountain Herd Management Areas for treatment of the fertility control drug Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP-22). There will be limited removal of approximately 79 horses that will be placed in the adoption program or long-term pasture facilities. An estimated 130 mares of the captured wild horses from the Cedar Mountain HMA will be treated and returned to the range with an estimated 131 Studs. Onaqui Mountain HMA will have an estimated 64 mares treated and released with an estimated 65 Studs. This will bring down and maintain the population of horses to appropriate management levels established through the Pony Express Resource Management Plan.
The Cedar Mountain Herd Management Areas is located in Tooele County 50 miles west of Tooele, Utah, and encompasses approximately 197,252 acres, with a current population estimated at 362 wild horses. The Appropriate Management Level (AML) for the Cedar Mountain HMA has been established at 190-390 wild horses.
The Onaqui HMA is located in Tooele County 60 miles southwest of Tooele, Utah, and encompasses approximately 206,795 acres, with a current population estimated at 159 wild horses. The AML for the Onaqui Mountain HMA has been established at 121-210 wild horses.
Both the Cedar Mountain and Onaqui Mountain HMAs are at the middle to high end of AML. These gathers are being conducted to meet local and national goals of slowing population growth, reducing the number of animals in short and long-term holding and maintain a thriving, natural ecological balance and multiple use relationship on public lands in the Cedar Mountain and Onaqui Mountain Herd Management Areas.
AML is determined through land-use planning efforts that involve public participation, vegetation inventories and allocation of forage in terms of animal unit months; the BLM determines the appropriate number of wild horses and burros that each Herd Management Area can support in balance with other uses of and resources on public land. Planning efforts include an inventory and the monitoring of all uses of the public rangelands.
“Animals removed from both HMAs will be available for adoption through the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program,” says Jill Silvey, Salt Lake Field Office Manager. “Those that are not adopted will be cared for in long-term pastures, where they retain their “wild” status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The BLM does not send any horses to slaughter.”
More details on the gather and opportunities for public visitation will be available soon from the BLM. The gather impacts are described and analyzed in the Cedar Mountain and Onaqui Mountain Wild Horse Herd Management Areas Capture, Treat and Release Plan with Limited Removal Final Environmental Assessment (EA). The EA, Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and Decision Record are available at BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program.
Wild Horse and Burro Myths and Facts
To learn more about the program or obtain an adoption application, go to BLM Wild Horse and Burro.