Frisco HMA (Utah) roundup ends with 143 wild horses captured, 2 killed

/ In The News, News, Roundups
Horses running from a contractor’s helicopter during a 2017 roundup on the Frisco Herd Management Are in Utah. RTF file photo by Steve Paige.

A total of 143 wild horses were captured over nine days during a Bureau of Land Management helicopter roundup on the Frisco Herd Management Area, northwest of Milford, Utah.

Two horses have died. One was put down Sept. 22 for an as yet unspecified chronic or pre-existing condition, according to BLM’s daily gather reports. A second, a mare with low teeth and poor body condition, was euthanized on Sept. 29.

BLM has not yet responded to questions about a lone foal captured on Sept. 26.

The wild horses captured included 58 studs, 60 mares and 25 foals.

BLM’s stated purpose for the roundup was to locate and capture 21 mares that had previously fitted with radio collars and global positioning system tracking devices as part of a population-control experiment. The BLM also planned to remove about 200 wild horses in the process.

BLM treated no mares with safe, proven and humane fertility control that would reduce the need for future gathers.

The 60,367-acre Frisco Herd Management Area is made up of 48,852 acres of federally managed land, 5,745 acres of state land and 5,770 acres of private land.

The BLM-set Appropriate Management Level for the HMA is 30-60 wild horses, or as low as one horse for every 1,628 acres.

By comparison, the agency allows seasonal grazing of privately owned cattle and sheep on four allotments that overlap the HMA with a total Animal Units Months of 16,590. One AUM is defined as the amount of forage to sustain one cow and her calf, one horse or five sheep or goats for one month.

Wild horses removed from their home range were shipped to the Axtell (Utah) Off-Range Contract Wild Horse Facility to be prepared for adoption or sale.

Read BLM’s planning documents here.

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