The Bureau of Land Management is set to begin removing as soon as today about 250 wild horses from the Deep Spring area of the Antelope Valley Herd Management Area in Utah.
BLM says it is conducting the roundup on the 463,540-acre Antelope Valley Herd Management Area due to lack of water:
“The Deer Spring area within the Antelope Valley HMA is not capable of sustaining the excess wild horses which rely on this water source,” BLM said in a press release. “Deer Spring produces approximately 15 gallons an hour, which cannot sustain the more than 200 wild horses that have been observed on a regular basis waiting for water at this location. The BLM is supplementing the water supply until the excess wild horses can be gathered.”
Contractor Cattoor Livestock, Inc., will use bait and water trapping to capture the horses, not helicopters.
The BLM-set “Appropriate Management Level” for Antelope Valley is 155-259 wild horses, or as few as one horse for every 2,991 acres. The current population is estimated by the agency as 1,775.
Permitted livestock use for Antelope Valley is 5,376 Animal Unit Months. BLM says actual 10-year average grazing use is 883 AUM, or 16% of what the agency set as its maximum livestock use. One AUM is forage for 1 horse, 1 cow/calf pair, or 5 sheep for one month.
Captured wild horses will be transported to the Indian Lakes Off-Range Corral in Fallon, Nevada, then offered for adoption.