Wild horses targeted for roundup in Utah rangeland clash

Cattle rancher Jeremy Hunt looks out over land, at a barbed wire fence in the Nephi Wash area outside Enterprise, Utah (JIM URQUHART, REUTERS / April 12, 2014)

So a Reuters reporter was taken on a tour by cattle ranchers where they shown lush green land where cattle graze and barren lands where the wild horses roam. The presumption that the wild horses were the ones that completely destroyed that land is ridiculous and one sided. Journalists need to dig deeper to get real answers.~ HfH

From: The Chicago Tribune
By: Jennifer Dobner – Reuters

Cattle rancher Jeremy Hunt looks out over land, at a barbed wire fence in the Nephi Wash area outside Enterprise, Utah (JIM URQUHART, REUTERS / April 12, 2014)

Cattle rancher Jeremy Hunt looks out over land, at a barbed wire fence in the Nephi Wash area outside Enterprise, Utah (JIM URQUHART, REUTERS / April 12, 2014)

ENTERPRISE, Utah (Reuters) – A Utah county, angry over the destruction of federal rangeland that ranchers use to graze cattle, has started a bid to round up federally protected wild horses it blames for the problem in the latest dustup over land management in the U.S. West.

Close to 2,000 wild horses are roaming southern Utah’s Iron County, well over the 300 the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has dubbed as appropriate for the rural area’s nine designated herd management zones, County Commissioner David Miller said.

County officials complain the burgeoning herd is destroying vegetation crucial to ranchers who pay to graze their cattle on the land, and who have already been asked to reduce their herds to cope with an anticipated drought.

Wild horse preservation groups say any attempt to remove the horses would be a federal crime.

On Thursday county workers, accompanied by a Bureau of Land Management staffer, set up the first in a series of metal corrals designed to trap and hold the horses on private land abutting the federal range until they can be moved to BLM facilities for adoption.

“There’s been no management of the animals and they keep reproducing,” Miller said in an interview. “The rangeland just can’t sustain it.”

The conflict reflects broader tension between ranchers, who have traditionally grazed cattle on public lands and held sway over land-use decisions, and environmentalists and land managers facing competing demands on the same land.

The Iron County roundup comes on the heels of an incident in neighboring Nevada in which authorities sent in helicopters and wranglers on horseback to confiscate the cattle herd of a rancher they say is illegally grazing livestock on public land.

In Utah, county commissioners warned federal land managers in a letter last month that the county would act independently to remove the horses if no mitigation efforts were launched.

“We charge you to fulfill your responsibility,” commissioners wrote. “Inaction and no-management practices pose an imminent threat to ranchers.”

The operation was expected to last weeks or months.

“The BLM is actively working with Iron County to address the horse issue,” Utah-based BLM spokeswoman Megan Crandall said, declining to comment further.

Attorneys for wild horse preservation groups sent a letter this week to Iron County commissioners and the BLM saying the BLM, under federal law, cannot round up horses on public lands without proper analysis and disclosure.

“The BLM must stop caving to the private financial interests of livestock owners whenever they complain about the protected wild horses using limited resources that are available on such lands,” wrote Katherine Meyer of Meyer, Glitzenstein and Crystal a Washington, DC-based public interest law firm representing the advocates.

AUTHOR: Amber Barnes
  • This has become idiotic, who in the heck would ever believe that horses destroy the land , it is a known fact horses enhance the land and all wildlife,these people are all Insane…… the Pres needs to step in on this one,he needs to sign executive orders to stop this, where are you Mr. Pres??????? I am sick of this Bloodshed of Our mustangs, they are National Treasures everyone HANDS OFF !!!!!

    April 12, 2014
  • This is beyond Idiotic , are they all Insane??? Horses enhance the Land , they balance all of wildlife….. The Pres needs to step in immediately with Signed Executive orders, Where are you Mr. Pres.????? The BLM is now Bullying people, this is not Nazi Germany,this is America, we wont stand for Bullying of any kind !!! this has got to Stop , and Stop Now… The Mustangs are National Treasures , every one get your filthy greed laden hands off them……………

    April 12, 2014
  • Callie1983

    There seems to be another type of animal abuse ‘contest’. Last week it was Wolves and Racoons on A Log, now we have the Wild Horses. The only positive thing I can say is there is a great Legal team.

    April 12, 2014
  • Judy Cubel

    Just another Land grab via Obama & the BLM. Sen. Reid was directly destroying the livelihoods of hard-working American ranchers in order to profit from future deals with Chinese energy firms and was shared on Facebook over 44,000 times, Twitter over 34,000 times and was even shared on the professional networking site LinkedIn.

    And it worked. Today the Sheriff of Clark Co., Douglas Gillespie, announced that the BLM would retreat from its standoff with cattle rancher Cliven Bundy.

    No doubt that the feds realized that they could not win the public relations war after the public discovered that this land grab was for a Chinese solar farm, where all monies would go to the owners.

    Now this could be a ruse for the time being to get the crowds to leave so the feds can continue its criminal operation later.

    April 13, 2014
    • Tim Parmly

      Are you ever wrong. The no longer proposed solar facility is 180 miles from Bundy’s property. If you don’t have the facts to back up your actions, just obscure them with fiction. He has 3 golf courses near his property and he lives on Rt15, not out in the middle of nowhere. Maybe it’s the Nevada developers that want his property. And remember, if the federal government hadn’t bought the territory, Nevada would still be in Mexico.

      April 15, 2014
  • Louie C


    While the Ranchers and the Wild Horse and Burro advocates AND the BLM are all embroiled in battles….business goes on as usual?
    HOW can gold mining exploration even be considered?
    Dawn of the Dead Watershed
    by Richard Mills – Ahead of the herd
    Published : March 02nd, 2014
    In March of 2009, Enoch City in IRON COUNTY, Cedar Valley Utah, contacted the Utah Geological Survey (UGS) about what they believed to be a fault running through one of their new subdivisions. It was determined by the UGS that it was a fissure caused by the groundwater level dropping as much as 114 feet since 1939 – the cause was determined to be due to pumping more groundwater than is recharged (refilled).
    It seems as though all of the people involved, including the swat team members, are being used like pawns on a giant chess board…or pieces in a game of monopoly. in the end…who wins?
    “Gold Springs is divided between eastern Lincoln County, Nevada and Western IRON COUNTY, Utah”
    Gold Springs Project Has BIG Potential
    The Gold Springs Project is a 60/40 joint-venture project High Desert Gold shares with Pilot Gold. High Desert Gold spent $1 million in exploration expenditures and paid $160,000 to Pilot Gold Inc. to get its 60% share. High Desert Gold is the manager of the project.
    Pilot Gold is the brainchild of an arrangement between Newmont Mining and Fronteer Gold. Pilot Gold is a gold exploration company led by members of the former Fronteer Gold team, who discovered or advanced seven deposits since 2003, including the development-stage Long Canyon gold project in Nevada, which is now owned by NEWMONT
    Gold Springs is divided between eastern Lincoln County, Nevada and
    Western IRON COUNTY, Utah
    DOI-BLM-UT-C010-2014-0038-EA Gold Springs Exploration
    Plan of Operations Cedar City Field Office 04/07/2014 04/07/2014 Plan of Operation
    4/7/2014 NEPA
    scoping initiated:
    Gold Springs Exploration
    Plan of Operations

    April 13, 2014