The Utah Wildlife Board on Thursday threw its support behind efforts to "put the heat on" the federal Bureau of Land Management to quickly to address an overpopulation of wild horses in the state.
During a meeting in Salt Lake City, the board responded to requests from several county commissions in southern Utah. The counties are calling on the BLM to adhere to its own mandate to maintain the number of wild horses at a level that allows various uses of the range without harming its "fragile arid ecosystem."
The board had earlier considered a proposal by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) to allow 365 cow elk hunting permits on the Southwest Desert hunting unit, and instead boosted the number to 425 permits. The hunting unit is located in the western part of Beaver, Iron and Millard counties, where the horses compete with wildlife for food and water.