BLM to remove 149 wild horses from Muddy Creek HMA (Utah)

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A BLM contractor’s helicopter pursues a stallion as cattle graze undisturbed during a 2016 roundup at the Blawn Wash Herd Area in Utah. RTF file photo by Steve Paige.

The Bureau of Land Management is set to begin on Sept. 11 a helicopter roundup to capture and remove 149 wild horses from the Muddy Creek Herd Management Area in Utah. The roundup is expected to last about six days.

BLM cites “declining rangeland health, overpopulation and continued drought conditions” as its reasons for removing the wild horses. The animals removed from the range will be sorted by age and gender, then transported to the Delta, Utah, Wild Horse Facility.

BLM plans to vaccinate mares with fertility control after reaching the agency-set “Appropriate Management Level” of 75-125, or as low as one horse for every 3,773 acres of the 283,000-acre herd management area, which is made up of both federal and state land.

By comparison, the agency allows 16,040 Animal Unit Months for livestock grazing on adjacent or overlapping allotments. One Animal Unit Month is a month’s forage for one horse, one cow / calf pair or five sheep.

The Muddy Creek Herd Management Area is located about six miles south of Emery, Utah.  It was home to an estimated 195 wild horses before this year’s foaling season began.

More information 

For BLM planning documents, click here.

For BLM’s tentative roundup calendar, click here.

Viewing the roundup

Members of the public can observe the roundup on BLM-escorted tours. Tours will leave from: the Gas-n-Go convenience store, 970 West Main St., Green River, Utah, departing at 6 a.m. Mountain time and UT I-70 Exit 131, Temple Mountain Road at the kiosk on the south side of the exit, departing at 6:30 a.m.

Those interested in attending should call the BLM Utah gather hotline, (801) 539-4050, which will be updated daily.

Observers must provide their own transportation, water, and food.  No public restrooms will be available.  The BLM recommends weather-appropriate footwear and neutral-colored clothing.  Binoculars and four-wheel drive or other high-clearance vehicles are also strongly recommended.

Take Action

Call your members of Congress at (202) 225-3121 (to find direct numbers, go to https://www.callmycongress.com).

Urge your senators to:

* Stand strong in Conference committee on the Senate’s language protecting wild horses and burros and on defunding horse slaughter, if the senator sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee (click for a list of members: https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/about/members).

For senators *not* on the Senate Appropriations Committee: Ask them to tell members of the Conference committee that constituents do not want them to waiver either on protecting wild horses or defunding horse slaughter.

* Oppose a new, quietly implemented BLM policy increasing the number of wild horses that can be sold to individuals and the frequency of those sales. This move will only lead to the slaughter of wild horses, something Congress has strongly rejected;

* Support the SAFE Act (S. 1706) to ban slaughter and the transportation of horses for slaughter.

Urge your congressional representative to:

* Oppose a new, quietly implemented BLM increasing the number of wild horses that can be sold to individuals and the frequency of those sales. This move will only lead to the slaughter of wild horses, something Congress has strongly rejected;

* Oppose the House version of the FY19 Interior Appropriations bill because it contains an amendment allowing for the mass sterilization of wild horses and burros; instead, ask your representative to support Senate language on wild horses being considered by the House and Senate Conference committee, instead;

* Oppose the FY19 Agriculture Appropriations bill because it does not include the horse slaughter inspection defund language; instead, ask your representative to support the Senate language being considered by the House and Senate Conference committee, instead;

* Support the SAFE Act (H.R. 113) to ban slaughter and the transportation of horses for slaughter;

* Support the Horse Transportation Safety Act (H.R. 4040) to ban hauling horses on double-deck trailers under all circumstances.

Donate to RTF’s Wild Horse Defense Fund, which fuels our lobbying, grassroots advocacy, selective litigation and on-range monitoring of roundups.

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