The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Utah’s Cedar City Field Office will soon be gathering and removing excess wild horses from within and outside the Frisco Wild Horse herd management area (HMA) in western Utah.

The BLM will gather approximately 150 and remove 90 excess wild horses from the Frisco HMA to achieve a research population of an estimated 100 animals on the HMA. Some horses will be fitted with tracking devices and returned to the range as part of the project. The BLM hopes this program will provide data on free-roaming horse locations and movement to help improve understanding of herd behavior.

Helicopter drive-trapping operations are scheduled to begin Jan. 6. Members of the public are welcome to view the daily gather operations, provided the safety of the animals, staff, and observers are not jeopardized and operations are not disrupted, the BLM said.

The BLM will conduct escorted public tours to gather observation sites. Details will be announced daily on the BLM gather hotline at 801/539-4050. Those interested in participating should meet at the KB Express Convenience Store/Subway at 238 South Main in Milford, Utah, where tours will depart at 6:30 a.m. MST.

Participants must provide their own transportation, water, and food. The BLM recommends footwear and clothing suitable for harsh winter field conditions. Binoculars and four-wheel drive, high clearance vehicles are also strongly recommended. No public restrooms will be available once the tour begins.

Public lands will remain open unless closures are deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Outdoor recreationists and visitors to the gather area should be aware that there will be low-flying helicopters and should avoid recreational use of drones near the Frisco Mountain area. Brief road closures might be needed to allow movement of horses during gather operations.

Gather updates and information will be posted at bit.ly/CongerFriscoGather. Updates will also be available on Twitter by following @BLMUtah or searching #CongerFriscoGather.

Animals removed from the range will be made available for adoption through the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program. Those that are not adopted will be cared for on off-range pastures where they retain their protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

Details on the environmental assessment and the gather can be found on the BLM’s planning documents website at 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 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 Reid. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and replies are provided during normal business hours.