BLM Caves in to Ranchers; Plans Massive Wild Horse Roundup in Utah

Public Comment Deadline: May 30, 2014

Last month, emboldend by outlaw Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, Utah ranchers in Iron and Beaver Counties threatened to roundup wild horses on our public lands if the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) did not conduct an immediate roundup itself. The ranchers were threatening to commit a federal crime, but that did not stop the agency from again caving in to bullying tactics and demands by promising to cnoduct a massive summer roundup in the Bible Springs Complex in southwestern Utah.

This proposed roundup is so wrong on so many levels - here are just a few reasons why:

► A July roundup will subject tiny foals, elderly horses, and horses who may be operating on low water resources to the terror,  trauma and extreme physical exertion of a helicopter stampede conducted in scorching desert heat. 

► The BLM's goal of removing 600-700 horses could literally decimate the wild horse herds in the Bible Springs Complex, because it is based on wildly inflated population estimates. Reducing the number of wild horses in these herds as proposed will likely undermine the genetic viability of these herds.

► The roundup continues BLM's "business as usual" management of wild horses (large removals, no fertility control) that the National Academy of Sciences warned was "expensive and unproductive for the BLM and the public it serves." 

► The BLM allows just 80-170 federally-protected wild horses in this 33-square-mile public lands area, while authorizing the annual equivalent of 1,270 cows and 1,031 sheep to graze the same area. 

It's time to take a strong stand against this latest assault on our federally-protected wild horses. Please get your comments in today - and share this alert. Let's flood the agency with letters opposing this dangerous and unjustified action!




If you prefer, you can submit your comments no later than May 30, 2014 via email or U.S. postal mail to:

BLM Cedar City Field Office
176 E. DL Sargent Drive
Cedar City, Utah 84721
Attn: Cedar City Field Office Manager
Email to: blm_ut_biblesprings@blm.gov 
If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the Cedar City Field Office, at (435) 865-3000. 

Background Information

Bible Springs Complex Wild Horse Gather EA

Utah Ranchers Go After Wild Horses 

The Bible Springs Complex

WILD HORSES

The Bible Springs Complex was originally comprised of four HMAs: Bible Springs, Blawn Wash, Four Mile, Tilly Creek.In 2001, the BLM traded away the land that was included the Blawn Wash HMA to the State of Utah and set the allowable number of horses there to 0. 

* 2013 estimates from BLM 2013 Wild Horse Data 

** Actual number of horses observed in census was 318. BLM added a correction factor of 20% to account for unseen horses. 

***  41% increase over 2013 projections, based on15- 20% population increase (foaling) PLUS an unscientific, unsubstantiated 20-30% increase based on National Academy of Sciences finding that populations COULD BE 20-30% larger than currently being estimated by the BLM. However the NAS said that BLM should bring science to its census counts and make the methodoloy specific to each area -- not to add a blanket 20-30% increase to all population estimates!!

LIVESTOCK
  • 16 grazing allotments all or partially within the Complex
  • 17,347 Animal Unit Months (AUMs) of Forage allocated for livestock vs. maximum of 2,040 AUMs for wild horses
  • 1,270 cows and 1,031 sheep (annual equivalent) vs. maximum of 170 horses
  • 13 of 16 livestock grazing allotments within the complex are not meeting at least one rangeland health standard.

MAP OF THE COMPLEX