The Bureau of Land Management’s Price Field Office started wild horse gather operations to remove excess wild horses from within and outside of the Range Creek Herd Management Area in Carbon County Thursday, Sept. 26 and those efforts are expected to last approximately eight days, according to spokesperson Lisa Reid.
The BLM will gather approximately 200 horses from federal, state and private lands. The appropriate management level for this HMA is 75-125 animals and the current population 282 horses, which is projected to reach 338 with the addition of the 2019 foals.
Opportunities are available for the public to observe daily operations through BLM-escorted tours so long as conditions remain safe for both the horses and participants, and ensuring that gather operations are not disrupted.
Observers must provide their own transportation, water and food. No public restrooms will be available. The BLM recommends that participants wear weather-appropriate footwear and neutral-colored clothing. Binoculars and four-wheel drive or other high-clearance vehicles are also strongly recommended, said Reid.
To protect the wild horses and the horse gather operations, no drones will be allowed to be flown in the vicinity of the gather sites. Details on the BLM-escorted tours will be updated each evening during the roundup and announced daily on the BLM gather hotline at 801-539-4050, said Reid.
Gather operations will begin on Sept. 26 on private land where public observation will not be available. For those interested in observing the gather, opportunities begin on Sunday, Sept. 29 and individuals should meet at Millers Wellington Chevron convenience store located at 2195 East Main St., Wellington, Utah, where tours will depart at 6 a.m., according to Reid.
Horses removed from the range will be transported to the Axtell Off-Range Contract Wild Horse Facility in Axtell located on Highway 89 in Sanpete County roughly between Gunnison and Salina.
Public lands will remain open unless closures are deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Outdoor recreationists and visitors to the roundup area should be aware that there will be low-flying helicopters. The recreational use of drones is discouraged from Bruin Point to Nine Mile Canyon, and from Dry Canyon east to Rock Creek Canyon. Brief road closures may also be needed to allow movement of horses during gather operations.