Sulphur roundup: 11 Utah wild horses captured before winter storm

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A helicopter from contractor Sun J pursues wild horses on Friday. All photos by Steve Paige for RTF.

The Bureau of Land Management on Friday captured 11 wild horses from Utah’s Sulphur Horse Management Area before a winter storm, bringing to 175 the the three-day total of wild horses captured there since the roundup began on Wednesday.

No injuries or deaths have been reported, according to BLM. (Note: The agency’s Sulphur roundup page was down as of Saturday morning).

BLM plans to capture about 700 wild horses between now and Jan. 31 from the area about 50 miles west of Milford, Utah.

About 300 of the young wild horses will be permanently separated from their family bands and put up for adoption. The unadopted will be moved to long-term holding facilities, according to the agency.

About 400 of the older wild horses will be re-released, including 100 to 150 mares treated with the fertility control vaccine PZP-22.

The roundup is part of a BLM plan to reduce the Sulphur HMA’s population to an Appropriate Management Level of 165 wild horses over a six- to 10-year period. In March 2016, the wild horse population on the 265,675-acre HMA was estimated at 957 head.

The BLM also justifies roundups near State Highway 21 as being conducted for public safety reasons. None of the wild horses captured during the first two days will be among those released because they were captured near the highway.

There is a proposal to install a fence, but it’s unlikely to go up sooner than next month.

How to attend:

Members of the public who wish to view the roundup should call the BLM’s gather hotline at (801) 539-4050 for daily updates.

Participants must provide their own transportation, water and food.

The BLM recommends footwear and clothing suitable for harsh winter weather. Binoculars and four-wheel drive, high clearance vehicles are also strongly recommended. No public restrooms will be available once the tour begins.

Photos from Jan. 20: 

 

Photos from Jan. 19:

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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