The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Salt Lake Field Office will soon begin gather operations to remove excess wild horses from within and outside the Cedar Mountain Wild Horse herd management area (HMA) in western Utah.

The BLM will gather approximately 600-700 horses. Of those gathered, the BLM will remove approximately 200-300 adoptable aged horses, and approximately 400 horses will be returned to the HMA. Of the mares released back to the HMA, roughly 200 will be treated with the fertility control vaccine porcine zona pellucida-22 (PZP-22).

The Cedar Mountain HMA is located in Tooele County, Utah, approximately 50 miles west of Tooele. The HMA encompasses approximately 197,275 acres, with a current estimated population at 960 wild horses. The BLM says the appropriate management level (AML) for the HMA is 190-390 wild horses.

Helicopter drive-trapping operations is tentatively scheduled to begin on Saturday, Feb. 11, pending inclement weather and road conditions. 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 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 Flying J gas station located at I-80 Exit 99 at 1605 East Saddleback Blvd in Lake Point, Utah, where tours will depart at 5:30 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. Please note that public restrooms will not 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 within the Cedar Mountain area. Brief road closures could be needed to allow movement of horses during gather operations.

Gather updates and information will be posted at bit.ly/CedarMtnGather and on Twitter (follow @BLMUtah or search #CedarMtnGather).

Animals removed from the range will be 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 and documents regarding the gather can be found at bit.ly/2kXuUfd. More information about the population control research project is available from the BLM’s Salt Lake Field Office at 801/977-4300.

To learn more about the wild horse and burro program or to obtain an adoption application, visit the BLM National Wild Horse and Burro website at on.doi.gov/2h11lDS.

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.