Iron County calls BLM announcement to only remove 200 horses a “joke”

Wild horses in Utah

Do not forget that Iron County sent their letter to the BLM in response to the Cliven Bundy incident. The local officials there only want a handful to no wild horses – something more akin to a zoo perhaps. ~ HfH

From: The Spectrum
By: Tracie Sullivan

Wild horses in Utah

Wild horses in Utah

CEDAR CITY – Angry over the most recent announcement by the Bureau of Land Management to only gather 200 wild horses off the range in 2014, Iron County Commissioners issued a statement Tuesday calling it a “slap in the face.”

“The 200 wild horses being offered up by the BLM is a joke, seen by the county commissioners as a way the Washington D.C. officials hope to appease local government, wildlife and sportsmen advocates,” the statement read.

The statement also is supported by Beaver County Commissioners.

Iron County’s statement is the latest in a series of threats by both Iron and Beaver County Commissioners warning the BLM that if the agency don’t do something soon to reduce the number of wild horses on the western range –the counties will.

BLM Utah Director Juan Palma said Tuesday the initial 200 horses largely being removed from the Blawn Wash area are just the beginning stages. The agency still has to address other criteria to remove more.

“We have five categories we look at when we remove the wild horses and these 200 are only the first three which covers the horses on private property which we’re allowed to remove by the request of the land owner. It doesn’t cover the last two categories which takes in the range condition and the health and body of the horses,” Palma said.

According to the county’s statement, a recent draft environmental assessment showed the BLM is required to remove 697 wild horses on the Bible Springs Complex to meet the lower Appropriate Management Level. Beaver County Commissioner Mark Whitney however, said that number does not accurately reflect the true picture.

“Those are my stomping grounds,” Whitney said. “I can tell you that there are 2,000 horses out there on that western range in Beaver and Iron (counties) that are 2,000 too many. There’s a lot more horses out there than that 697. Try closer to 2,697.”

Palma admits he doesn’t know the timeline on when the additional horses will be removed but said the first 200 will more than likely be rounded up by June or July.

With a deadline of July 1, commissioners in Iron and Beaver said Tuesday they are done negotiating with BLM officials.

In earlier meetings with the two counties and BLM officials it was indicated that Palma had approval from Washington D.C. to remove the wild horses from the Bible Springs Complex which includes the Blawn Wash.

According to the statement, Iron County commissioners entered into an agreement with the BLM to get the horses off private property on the promise that the Environmental Assessments would be complete.

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AUTHOR: Amber Barnes
  • Janet Schultz

    What is at the bottom of all this? It is not the horses on private land. Something else. I mean there are so many oother reasons to be in an uproar over envirnmental damage. These counties and ranchers won’t be enriched would they? And why is the “media” (paid mouthpieces) giving them press time? What is this really going to winnow down to?

    May 22, 2014
  • Grandma Gregg

    If BLM caves into the bullying tactics and threats of illegal action by ranchers and local officials in Utah who want to keep ranges open for cattle grazing for private or corporate profit the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the citizens of the United States of America have fallen victim to extortion.

    Below is the BLM document. Public comments are due May 30th. Email your letters to

    May 22, 2014
    • Maggie Frazier

      I saw the ones that were done by “our” people.
      How sad & corrupt that the BLM does listen.
      But then nothing new there.

      May 22, 2014
  • Maggie Frazier

    How about an accurate (true) count of the horses on the land? Find out exactly how many of the “2697” animals that they claim are really there? Exactly how many cows are on the land at the present time & how many more do they want to turn out there? Its about time for some actual truth…

    May 22, 2014
  • Louie C


    An analysis of the Wild Horses Act and the relevant case law will demonstrate that the prevailing method used to eliminate the “straying problem”-extensive governmental removal of horses from public and private lands-COUNTERMANDS the protective purposes of the Act and of related public lands statutes.

    While the constitutional basis for § 1334′s regulation of conduct on private lands remains an open issue, several persuasive theories suggest that Congress was EMPOWERED TO EXTEND FEDERAL CONTROL BEYOND PUBLIC BOUNDRIES.

    Section 1334 of the Wild Horses Act provides landowners an
    inexpensive and convenient method of removing straying horses from their
    private property.

    May 22, 2014
  • Grandma Gregg

    The law says permitted livestock will be removed to protect wild horses.
    § 4710.5 Closure to livestock grazing.
    (a) If necessary to provide habitat for wild horses or burros, to implement herd management actions, or to protect wild horses or burros, to implement herd management actions, or to protect wild horses or burros from disease, harassment or injury, the authorized officer may close appropriate areas of the public lands to grazing use by all or a particular kind of livestock.

    May 22, 2014