Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Wild horses from Utah's Swasey herd are rounded up by Cattoor Livestock Roundup Co in the West Desert near the Swasey Mountains in February 2013.The Bureau of Land Management has announced that it will again round up wild horses.
Iron County, feds work together to corral horses
First Published Apr 10 2014 04:47 pm • Last Updated Apr 23 2014 04:35 pm

After weeks of tension over how to handle the overpopulation of horses on drought-stricken range, Iron County and Bureau of Land Management officials began working together Thursday to corral some of them.

David Miller, chairman of the Iron County Commission, said Thursday that, so far, one corral had been built on private land in hopes of attracting feral and stray horses to a water source within the fencing. He said officials plan to build at least one or two more corrals in coming days.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

He said captured feral and stray horses will likely be put up for adoption or auction, and the county will work with the BLM to make arrangements on any captured wild horses, which will be moved to a holding facility.

County leaders had given the BLM an ultimatum in recent weeks to reduce the overpopulation of wild horses, which they say are causing problems on the range shared by horses, cattle and wildlife on BLM land.

Miller claims 1,200 horses are spread throughout management units in the area, while the agency’s own plans call for 300. BLM’s 2013 statistics, however, estimated 447 horses on the 160,000-acre Bible Springs complex in northwest Iron County outside the town of Lund. The recommended population level for these three management areas is 190.

"It’s not as much as we would like," Miller said Thursday of the corralling. "As the county, we’re concerned it’s not going to mitigate significantly the threat, but because we’re getting progress, we will work together."

He added, however, that county officials aren’t taking "any options off the table, because if there are imminent threats that we have to address, then we will."

Wild horses in the West are managed by the BLM through the federal Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. The federal act prohibits public roundups of wild horses and burros, and wild horse advocates have called on the BLM to block any roundups by ranchers in Utah or Nevada.

In recent years, wild horses have been joined by a growing number of horses released by people who could no longer afford to stable and feed them. Those horses are the ones Iron County is targeting.

Miller argues the BLM is breaking federal law by not appropriately managing the herds. As the chairman of the Iron County Commission, he said, he has authority under Utah State Code to arrange a roundup.

story continues below
story continues below

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.