BLM to Begin Swasey Wild Horse Gather in Utah

The Utah Bureau of Land Management (BLM) West Desert District, Fillmore Field Office will begin the Swasey Herd Management Area (HMA) wild horse gather on or about Feb. 12.

The BLM is planning to gather an estimated 262 wild horses from the Swasey HMA, with up to 100 being released back onto the range following the gather. Approximately 49 mares will be treated with the fertility control drug porcine zona pellucida; the remainder of the released horses will be studs.

Approximately 162 excess wild horses, including wild horses gathered that are residing outside the HMA boundary, will be removed from the range. Animals removed from the Swasey HMA will be available for adoption through the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program. Those that are not adopted will be cared for in long-term pastures, where they retain their "wild" status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

The Swasey HMA is located in Millard and Juab Counties, about 50 miles west of Delta, Utah. It encompasses approximately 120,113 acres, with a current population estimated at 350 wild horses. The appropriate management level for the Swasey HMA is 60-100 wild horses.

Members of the public are welcome to view the daily gather operations once they begin, so long as the safety of the animals, staff, and observers are not jeopardized and operations are not disrupted. During the gather, interested public can participate in an escorted tour by meeting at the Hart's Food and Gas at 76 North Highway 6 in Delta; Parties must be ready to leave at 6:00 a.m. sharp. The dates and departure times are subject to change depending upon weather and gather operations. The public is strongly encouraged to check the gather hotline nightly by calling 435/743-3124 for any schedule changes. Participants must provide their own transportation, water, and lunches. The BLM recommends that the public dress for harsh field conditions. Binoculars as well as four wheel drive vehicles are strongly recommended.

There is no anticipated closure of public lands, except if deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Outdoor recreationists and visitors should be aware that low flying aircrafts will be present in the area and brief road closures may be needed to allow movement of wild horse herds during gather operations.

Updates and information will be provided online on a regular basis throughout the course of the gather. For information on participating in public observation days, please contact Lisa Reid, public affairs specialist, at 435/979-2838.

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