Cedar Mountain: 29 Utah wild horses captured as BLM begins year’s fourth helicopter roundup

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A helicopter from contractor Cattoor Livestock Roundup Co. drives wild horses toward the trap on Saturday at the Cedar Mountain Horse Management Area in Utah. Photo by RTF humane observer Steve Paige.

Twenty-nine wild horses were captured on Saturday as the Bureau of Land Management began a helicopter roundup at the Cedar Mountain Herd Management Area in western Utah.

An unusually large group of 25 public observers turned out to see the first day of the roundup. Later, those who watched horses taken from the range drove through a group of cattle while leaving the horse management area (see photos below).

No wild horse injuries or deaths were immediately reported. The BLM’s page with gather reports for the Cedar Mountain roundup was not functioning as of Sunday morning, however.

BLM intends to capture 700 wild horses during the course of the roundup. The BLM plans to separate out and permanently remove from their home range 200-300 “adoptable age” wild horses. Those not adopted will be moved to government holding facilities, according to the agency.

The other wild horses captured — including about 200 mares that will be treated with PZP-22 fertility control vaccine — will be returned to the range.

The 197,275-acre Cedar Mountain Herd Management Area, located about 50 miles west of Tooele, Utah, has a BLM-assigned Appropriate Management Level of 190-390 wild horses and a current horse population estimated at 960, according to the agency.

BLM planning documents related to the roundup can be found here.

Cedar Mountain is the fourth helicopter roundup of 2017.

Photos from Feb. 11: 

Viewing the roundup:

Members of the public can view the roundup on BLM-escorted tours departing at 5:30 a.m. MST from the Flying J gas station at 1605 East Saddleback Blvd. in Lake Point, Utah. Information will be updated daily on the BLM’s hotline, (801) 539-4050.

Participants must provide their own transportation, water and food. They should dress for harsh winter weather and know that restrooms are not available after tours begin. Binoculars and four-wheel drive vehicles with a high clearance are strongly recommended.

You can help:

Please consider a contribution to the Wild Horse Defense Fund, which makes it possible for Return to Freedom to have humane observers on the ground at roundups. Having an active voice has proven valuable for holding BLM and contractors accountable for the humane handling of wild horses, pressing for improvements to humane standards, and educating policymakers and the public about how tax dollars are being used.

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