Muddy Creek Wild Horse Gather Beginning Soon in Utah

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The Horse

September 7, 2018

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) said continued drought conditions and an overpopulation of wild horses has prompted a gather of excess horses from areas in and around the Muddy Creek Herd Management Area (HMA), in Emery County, Utah, which will begin Sept. 11.

Approximately 149 animals will be removed in order to reach the appropriate management level (AML) of 75-125 animals, the BLM said. Once gather operations are completed and the AML is achieved, fertility control will be administered to in order to help reduce population increases in the HMA, the agency said.

The Muddy Creek HMA is located approximately 20 miles south of Ferron, in the San Rafael Swell. It consists of approximately 283,400 acres of public and state lands.

Opportunities are available for the public to observe daily operations through BLM-escorted tours as long as conditions remain safe for animals and participants and gather operations are not disrupted. Observers must provide their own transportation, water, and food. No public restrooms will be available. The BLM recommends weather-appropriate footwear and neutral-colored clothing, along with binoculars and four-wheel drive or other high-clearance vehicles.

Those interested in participating will have two locations to meet for daily tours. One location is the Gas-n-Go convenience store, 970 West Main Street, Green River, Utah, departing at 6:00 a.m. MDT. The second location is UT I-70 Exit 131, Temple Mountain Road at the kiosk on the south side of the exit, departing at 6:30 a.m. MDT. Gather and tour information could change daily and will be posted each evening on the BLM Utah gather hotline at 801/539-4050.

Visitors and observers should be aware that low-flying helicopters will be used as part of the operation. As such, drone use near the San Rafael Swell region south of I-70 from the McKay Flat area, west to the Cathedral Valley scenic byway will be prohibited during the gather to ensure safety of the gather operation. Traffic could also be stopped for short intervals on roads in the area to allow for safe movement of horses during gather operations.

Horses removed from the range will be transported to the Delta Wild Horse Facility, in Delta, Utah. The facility will be closed when the horses are being off-loaded and for a period following to allow the horses to settle before being prepped for the adoption and sale program.

Gather updates and information will be posted at go.usa.gov/xUerB. Anyone interested can receive updates on Twitter by following @BLMUtah or searching #BLMUTWildHorseGather.

The gather is expected to last approximately six days. For additional information on participating in public observation days, contact Lisa Reid, public affairs specialist, at 435/743-3128 or lreid@blm.gov.

Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf can call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 800/877-8339 to leave a message or question for Lisa Reid. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.

Originally posted by The Horse