By Tracie Sullivan, The Spectrum
CEDAR CITY – After months of being under pressure from local ranchers and the Iron County Commissioners to bring the number of wild horses on public lands down to the appropriate management levels, the Bureau of Land Management is slated to begin a wild horse gather on Monday.
The gather, which is happening within the Bible Spring Complex between July 28 and Aug. 5, is open to the public to allow them to view the daily operations so long as the safety of the animals, staff and observers are not jeopardized and operations are not disrupted.
The BLM said it plans to gather and remove some 140 horses from the Blawn Wash Herd Management Area — one of four HMAs making up the Bible Spring Complex. Gather operations also will extend to the adjacent Highway 21, where BLM officials say 10-30 wild horses pose traffic safety hazards.
Those interested in watching the gathers can meet at 5 a.m. at the KB Express Convenience Store, 238 S. Main St., Milford.
From there, BLM officials will escort the parties out to the range that BLM spokeswoman Lisa Reid said will take about an hour and a half to get to.
Participants must provide their own transportation, water, and lunches. Reid recommends the public dress for harsh, summer field conditions. Four-wheel drives or vehicles with higher clearance are also recommended.
While Reid said she is going to try and allow viewers to be able to see as much as possible, she suggests bringing binoculars.
“It’s going to be hard because this range isn’t conducive to viewing and especially with 50 people out there,” she said. “I’m going to do everything I can though so that people get an opportunity to see as much as possible. I just can’t guarantee anything.”
Following the gather, the horses will be available for adoption through the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program. Animals not adopted will be cared for in long-term pastures.
For additional information on participating in public observation days, please contact Reid at 435-743-3128 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Those who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 800-877-8339 – available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.