Utah officials upset with BLM over wild horse removal project

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SOUTHERN UTAH - Commissioners in Iron and Beaver Counties are getting more and more frustrated with the Bureau of Land Management over the removal of wild horses from public land.

“What they’re trying to do is unacceptable,” said Beaver County commissioner Mark Whitney. “Again, this is about the law.”

Whitney said they stand behind a statement issued earlier this week by Iron County commissioners saying the Bureau of Land Management’s plan to remove 200 horses from the range land trivializes the issue facing several states in the west.

“It’s totally a lame effort,” Whitney said. “It helps that one little area right there, but if they take 200 off today, when’s the next bunch they’re going to take off? By then, it’s already increasing again.”

BLM officials said that specific removal applies to private land, an operation easier to manage and carry out. Several other aspects need to be considered for a wide round up, including an environmental assessment.

Even conservative numbers have the number of wild horses out on the west desert range lands pegged at thousands more than there should be at acceptable levels. Commissioners said it’s reached a point where they can’t stay silent any longer. Those wild populations, they said, are threatening the very existence of this ecosystem.

"The drought we’ve had for the past few years has just made the range conditions unacceptable,” Whitney said. “That’s where we’ve really seen it take a toll.”

BLM officials have told commissioners they’re trying to come up with long terms solutions to save the range land, and drought conditions are one obstacle. But commissioners want fast solutions, and have given the BLM a deadline of July 1. They said if something doesn’t change by then, commissioners will have to consider alternatives.

The BLM is currently seeking public comment on an Environmental assessment for long term horse round up. The comment period ends May 31. More information can be found here.



  • Linda Taschereau

    You are cruel , & illegally taking Mustangs calling the strays , they are not There Are Eyes in the Skies , we will be watching , this corruption .When stallions fight , some gotta move, that is not a stray they stay by herd .

  • morgansinkc

    Our Federally-protected wild Mustangs at one time numbered over 2
    million, and now they number 22,000 on the range, according to the BLM
    WH&B Advisory Board in April, 2014. This is a 99% reduction in the
    number of wild horses, with eight herds that are too small to be
    genetically viable.

    There are over 12 million cattle and sheep owned by the Welfare Ranchers
    on our public lands, and they are getting a great deal at $1.35 per
    AUM/head. The Welfare Ranchers need to either be thankful for the deal
    they have been given or move on and buy their own land and pay taxes
    just like the rest of us.

    We are seeing videos like this one in the link below on the internet
    where hundreds of cattle are being poured onto the range where a handful
    of our Mustangs were just removed. This does not make any sense.


  • Connie Nelson

    How about moving the welfare cattle & sheep ranchers off public land that legally belongs to the wild horses. The horses actually help improve the range, while cattle & sheep destroy it. And how about stopping fracking that destroys the precious & scarce water.

  • Karl Harry Rosenberg

    I wish at this time to repeat a comment made before in regards to this situation, if I may. As an American citizen and Viet-nam veteran, I put the uniform on to protect each and every one of you, as well as those mustangs that you persecute. It is therefore in your best interest to leave these and other mustangs be, as you will realise it is not the mustangs creating the water shortage, but those who are abusing the land. Thank you,
    Karl Harry Rosenberg

  • Debbie

    You know what Mr. Whitney YOU and the bunch of you good ole boys are unacceptable to the Majority of the American people… Leave the horses alone for a change,, it is after all actually their land, not the BEEF, take the cattle off, take them OFF.. THAT is the reality of what WE ALL THINK should be done… Stop your constant complaining… How lucky the Welfare Cattle really are, and are still never satisfied… Shameful,, and so not OK… The saddest thing in this whole injustice is there should be enough land for ALL.. But there never is for you all… Shame on you sir for what you are trying to do, have to wonder how many kick backs your getting for this public nonsense…

  • Wes

    Hey guys, I know you love your horses, and want to see wild and free ones. But if you put to many in one area, they can over-graze and many other horses can starve because of that. That includes other mega fauna that graze there too, such as deer and pronghorn. The latter which is almost critically endangered. Plus, I agree with letting ecosystems remain in-tact. I know the BLM can be a party crasher at times, but they do these things for the sake of preserving the land for future generations to come. And, just FYI. Horses and cattle, especially sheep, can damage those.

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