A lone horse in the Onaqui. Photo credit: Jen Rogers, Wild Horse Photo Safaris.
The Onaqui wild horse roundup in Utah concluded this week. We are sorry to report that more than 435 wild horses were captured, with one death. In 2019, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) removed 241 of the 510 wild horses they estimated lived in and around Onaqui.
Experts have long pointed to these massive roundups as the cause of poor genetic health in wild horse populations. Sharp declines in population force horses left on the range to inbreed, causing genetic concerns.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to return 104 wild horses to the range, including 50 mares who will have been given PZP fertility control. Per Western Watersheds Project, livestock grazing permits overlapping with the Onaqui HMA authorize 19,592 AUMs (Animal Unit Months) of cattle and sheep.
The Cloud Foundation and Western Watershed Project discussed the BLM’s preference for livestock grazing in Onaqui in this Salt Lake Tribune article.
For details on the Onaqui roundup, please visit the BLM’s Onaqui roundup website.
While it’s heartbreaking and discouraging that BLM pushed through with this massive roundup despite the tremendous public opposition, we must remain dedicated to our goal.
We have not lost unless we give up – and we’re not giving up. As long as we all keep fighting, our magnificent wild horses and burros have a chance.
The Cloud Foundation will continue to push for a fair and humane program, and we hope you will continue this journey with us.
If you’re interested in helping the captured Onaqui wild horses, please visit https://redbirdstrust.org/.
The Cloud Foundation