The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Salt Lake Field Office is proposing to control the population of wild horses from the Onaqui Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA) and adjacent areas by gathering and removing excess wild horses to achieve the low end of the Appropriate Management Level (AML). The current population of wild horses on the Onaqui HMA is estimated at 450 animals (not including foals born in 2017), while the AML is set at 121-210 horses. The BLM estimates that over 325 wild horses would need be removed from the Onaqui HMA to achieve a low AML. The proposed gather activities, which could include helicopter and/or bait and water trapping, could begin in the summer of 2018 and extend for multiple years, based on funding.
The proposed population control comes in response to several issues currently occurring in the HMA. This includes, but is not limited to, actions to comply with the Utah Greater Sage-Grouse Approved Resource Management Plan Amendment (ARMPA), emergency stabilization and restoration of lands affected by wildfires, and resource impacts due to over-population of wild horses. The BLM is also collaborating with researchers to establish a study focused on wild horses, greater sage-grouse, and vegetation treatment interactions. The greater sage-grouse population in this area (the Sheeprocks population) has substantially declined over the last decade and the BLM must take action consistent with the ARMPA’s management direction.
(9/27/2017 - NEPA Register Posted. 10/2/2017 - 30-Day Public Scoping Period; refer to the Public Notice Scoping 10-2-17.pdf. )
The project area is located within Townships 6-11 South and Ranges 5-9 West, various sections, Salt Lake Meridian, in Tooele County, Utah.