Cross-posted from Deseret News
Written by AMY JOI O’DONOGHUE
HERRIMAN — A 15-year Salt Lake County tradition offering public viewing and adoptions of wild horses and burros is closing its doors for the winter — and ultimately for good within two years.
Top Bureau of Land Management managers in Utah said the closure of the Wild Horse and Burro Facility in Butterfield Canyon in southwestern Salt Lake County is painful, but ultimately the best decision.
Wild horses and burros at the Butterfield Canyon Corrals will be moved to Federal property in Gunnison or Delta. Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011.
“It was originally purposed to be a seasonal facility and just prep horses over the summer,” said the BLM’s Salt Lake Field Office Manager Jill Silvey. “It is really not the ideal location to (winter) horses.”
Silvey said 64 animals were shipped out of the facility Wednesday to the BLM’s facility in Gunnison and the remaining 167 remaining horses and burros will be shipped to other locations by the end of the month.
After that, the facility will be closed to the public.
“I am not sure they will be back in the spring.”
The closure comes in the aftermath of a BLM review prompted by allegations of abuse.
Facility managers were struggling with record snowfall and an unusually wet spring this year that saw precipitation 400 percent of normal. A video showing the muddy conditions and an injured horse was posted on YouTube by The Cloud Foundation [view below] — a wild horse advocacy organization extremely critical of BLM practices.
The BLM’s investigation concluded that the allegations raised did not equate to abuse, but the muddy conditions at the center presented an “unacceptable situation.” Continue reading >>