“This gather [operation] is in year two of a research study that is being conducted on wild horse behavior and ecology,” said BLM West Desert District Wild Horse Specialist Trent Staheli. “It will examine the behavioral effects of gelding, population dynamics, fertility, reproductive rate, recruitment rate, age-specific survival and mortality, habitat selection, movements and habitat range among other things.”
Research is being conducted at the scale of both the individual and population levels and is in coordination with the United States Geological Survey Fort Collins Science Center and Colorado State University within the Conger HMA.
The public is welcome to observe daily operations through BLM-escorted tours provided that the safety of the animals, staff and observers are not jeopardized and that operations are not disrupted. Observers must provide their own transportation, water and food. Public restrooms will not be available. The BLM recommends weather-appropriate footwear and neutral-colored clothing. Binoculars and four-wheel-drive vehicles with high clearance are strongly recommended.
Those interested in participating should meet at the Border Inn Gas Station at the junction of U.S. Route 6 and U.S. Route 50 on the Utah-Nevada state line, 88.6 miles west of Delta, where tours will depart at 6:30 a.m. Daily adjustments to this schedule and specific details will be recorded on the BLM gather hotline at 801-539-4050.
Visitors and observers to the gather area should be aware that low-flying helicopters will be used as part of the operation. Flying unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) near the Conger Mountain ranges north of Routes 6 and 50 will be prohibited during the gather. Brief road closures may also be needed to allow movement of horses during gather operations.
All horses gathered will be shipped to the Delta Wild Horse Facility. The facility will be closed Nov. 27 through Dec. 18 to allow the researchers to study the horses before being returned to the range.
Gather updates and information will be posted at go.usa.gov/xnB4g. Updates are available via Twitter by following @BLMUtah or searching hashtag #CongerGather. To learn more about the BLM wild horse and burro program, visit the BLM website at: http://on.doi.gov/2h11lDS.
An environmental assessment is available via the BLM’s planning documents website: https://goo.gl/pNIggw . More information on the population control research project is available from the BLM’s Fillmore Field Office at (435) 743-3100.
For more information on this event, contact Public Affairs Specialist Lisa Reid at (435)743-3128 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question for Reid. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.