What's New: Onaqui Herd Management Area

All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘Onaqui Herd Management Area’

Some feel good news for you


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Today we wanted to bring you some good news: Four youngsters from the famed Onaqui herd are now out of mud-ridden government holding pens and are starting their new lives! 

These horses were rounded up late last summer during the devastating roundup across the Onaqui Herd Management Area (HMA) and have lived in a cramped government facility ever since, where they haven’t been able to run or play like young wild horses do. 

But thanks to their adopter and AWHC Board President, Ellie Price, they’ll now get a second chance at a good life at her wild horse sanctuary, Montgomery Creek Ranch, as they learn to trust people and become someone’s companion in a forever home!

You can learn more about this heartwarming rescue here:

We love happy endings like that of these young mustangs, and we’re working hard to bring even more happy endings to thousands of other wild horses and burros. Are you with us? 


— AWHC Team

It’s the wild horse way


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

The wild horses of the Onaqui Herd Management Area (HMA) just outside of Dugway, Utah are some of the most well-known and well-loved mustangs in the country. Photographers and tourists from all over the world flock to this 200,000-acre public land area to spend time with the animals they have come to know and love, including revered wild horses like Old Man, Red Lion, or, Diamond and DeeDee — a stunning mother-daughter duo.

Photo by PJ Kaszas

It’s no matter that DeeDee was born to Diamond over 7 years ago. She has remained by her mother’s side ever since, napping, grazing, and raising her own young. It’s the wild horse way and why we love them: their relationships with one another are strong, intricate, and dynamic. 

So it was devastating to local advocates when the helicopters descended on the HMA in July of 2021, and threatened to rip this pair — and their unique bond — apart. They ended up being captured in the operation along with over 400 other cherished mustangs, and have been stuck in a mud-ridden holding facility since. Visitors to the corrals noted that the pair still clung together, amidst the trauma they endured. 

Local advocates worked tirelessly to find a home for Diamond and DeeDee together and lucked out when AWHC Board Member and owner of Freedom Reigns Equine Sanctuary, Alicia Goetz stepped up and agreed to welcome the mares to her herd of nearly 500 rescued horses on her almost 4,000-acre sanctuary. 

Photo by Kimerlee Curyl

And on Wednesday, we were onsite to welcome the special mother-daughter pair to their new life. After they cautiously came off the trailer, they took to the ground and began to roll. Photographer Kimerlee Curyl, spoke of the moment best: 

“I began to get teary as I watched the caked mud and manure fall off of them as they rolled around in the new green grass of their temporary enclosure. To me, it represented the shedding of their life in holding and that terrible roundup. It was a beautiful and emotional day.”

It really was a beautiful day.

Photo by Kimerlee Curyl

After their quarantine period is up, Diamond and DeeDee will be released out to the main sanctuary to roam over thousands of acres of rolling hills. 

We are grateful to the local advocates who worked so hard to keep this family together, and to Alicia for her commitment to ensuring that Diamond and DeeDee live the remainder of their lives at Freedom Reigns, the next best thing to being wild and free.

For the wild ones,

The AWHC Team

ACT NOW>> How you can help us reform the roundup-and-stockpile system


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Late last night, advocates around the world waited with bated breath as we learned that the roundup of the beloved wild horses of the Onaqui Herd Management Area (HMA) had been postponed for another day. This was the second time in five days that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) postponed the roundup because of a pending federal court decision.

This morning, a federal judge denied an animal rights groups’ motion for an injunction to stop the roundup. The BLM then announced that the roundup will begin tomorrow.

Our work to reform the costly and cruel wild horse program doesn’t stop here, however. Can you sign our petition to the Biden Administration calling for meaningful reform to keep wild horses and burros in the wild where they belong?




Collectively, wild horse organizations threw everything we had at the effort to halt this roundup. 

AWHC launched SaveOnaqui.com to mobilize our grassroots army, which resulted in thousands of messages sent to both Congress and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. We garnered 50,000 petition signatures and hand-delivered them to the U.S. Department of the Interior. We worked with actress Katherine Heigl on developing and delivering letters to Congress. We held a virtual rally attended by hundreds of people around the world. And, we worked with our friends at Western Watersheds Project to develop a detailed, scientifically-based proposa for long-term management of the Onaqui wild horses, which was reviewed at the highest levels of the BLM.

We want you to know that while we did not stop this roundup, our collective voices have been heard. The BLM understands the high public interest in protecting this herd and has committed to working on a collaborative plan to humanely and sustainably manage the iconic Onaqui horses and protect the public’s interest in viewing them.

This morning, AWHC’s Field Correspondent Kimerlee Curyl was with the Onaqui herd documenting what will likely be the last moments of freedom for many of these cherished mustangs.



These heartbreaking images only strengthen our resolve, but not just to ensure that this is the last helicopter roundup that ever takes place in the Onaqui HMA. We’re also working nonstop to reform the entire roundup-and-stockpile system that is leading to slaughter for far too many of these cherished animals.

Thanks to the many photographs who follow this herd, we know the Onaqui wild horses as individuals and families, and the prospect of their roundup is painful. But the reality is that all wild horses and burros are individuals who love their freedom and their families and suffer under the current federal management program.

Our work will not stop until we ensure that all wild horse populations are managed humanely in the wild, where they belong. Please support this work by signing and sharing our petition to the Biden Administration calling for meaningful reform to keep wild horses and burros wild.



Stay wild,
The AWHC Team
P.S. — We’ll be on the ground to witness and document the removal of the Onaqui wild horses. Be sure to stay up to date on our social media channels for the latest: FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.


The BLM is trying to remove hundreds of Utah’s Onaqui wild horses


The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Here is your latest news on all things wild horses and burros!

Action: Forest Service to Cull Small Arizona Herd

The Heber wild horses of the Sitgreaves National Forest in eastern Arizona have been through enough. Since 2018, the bodies of 28 horses from this small herd have been found shot to death in the Forest and not a single person has been brought to justice.

Now, the Forest Service has just released a Territory Management Plan that continues this assault — in a different way. The agency wants to reduce the population of these mustangs to as few as 50 animals on nearly 20,000-acres of public land.

Protect the Heber wild horses of the Sitgreaves National Forest in eastern Arizona!

Why? You might ask — well, taking a look at who else resides in the Forest might be a good place to find answers. At the same time that the Forest Service wants to drastically reduce the population of the herds, it permits nearly 500 cow/calf pairs to graze within the horses’ habitat.

We cannot let this stand. Please take one moment to speak up for Arizona’s Heber wild horses.


Op-ed: BLM Must Work With Advocates to Save the Onaqui Wild Horses

The wild horses in the Onaqui Herd Management Area (HMA) of Dugway, Utah are arguably the most visited and cherished mustang population in the country. The herd’s accessibility provides a unique experience for visitors and photographers who, in turn, share their photographs and stories of these iconic animals with an international audience. Not only that, but there is a successful PZP program, spearheaded by volunteers, to stabilize the population numbers.

Protect the wild horses in the Onaqui Herd Management Area (HMA) of Dugway, Utah!
Photo: Kimerlee Curyl

But none of that seems to matter to the BLM, which recently announced that it will be targeting hundreds of the Onaqui wild horses for removal as early as July 2021. When we heard the news, we sprung into action and are currently developing a plan to fight back. We will give you more details on that soon, but for now, please read our most recent oped in the Salt Lake Tribune about this situation.


BLM Continues Assault of Wyoming Wild Horses

The BLM released an Environmental Assessment this week outlining a plan to continue its nearly decade-long assault on the iconic wild horses of the Wyoming Checkerboard. Under the proposal, the BLM would use helicopters to permanently remove 3,500 wild horses — or nearly 40% of the wild horse population in the state.

Protect the iconic wild horses of the Wyoming Checkerboard!
Photo: Carol Walker

The BLM continues to cater to the interests of the Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA), whose members view wild horses as competition for cheap, taxpayer-subsidized livestock grazing on public lands. Since 2011, AWHC has been involved in litigation against the RSGA and the BLM to defend the wild horses in this area and has amassed numerous court victories, including at the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. We intend to continue legal action to defend Wyoming wild horses and to rally public opposition to this plan — but more on that soon.

Check out our latest news release on the situation and stay tuned for more ways to take action in the coming weeks.


Thank you for your support,

—The AWHC Team