Management of Wild Horses

Being the “city slicker” that I am I would have never imagined that Wild Horses would be such a contentious and emotional issue. It is doubtful that many people even know that there are 3,900 horses that are roaming the BLM range wild. It may be a surprise that as a nation we spend close to $80 million dollars managing these wild horses and burros (talk about a first world problem).

This week on the County Seat we will talk about the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro program and the challenges of managing an animal that is neither wildlife nor livestock. What are the costs currently and what will happen if we continue putting off an important debate over how to manage these animals?

Mark Whitney – Beaver County Commissioner
J. J. Goicoechea – Eureka County Commissioner, NV
Kevin Bunnell – Utah Division of Wild Life Resources
Gus Warr – Utah BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program Manager

Jim Schnepel- President, Wild Horses of America Foundation

Public Behavioral and Mental Health Services and Public Saftey


There are a number of exciting innovations being made to the criminal justice system to avoid warehousing people who are suffering a mental health problem. Counties have traditionally been the safety net for people who struggle with mental health. Unfortunately the demand for service is greater than the resources of many counties can supply.

This shortage of available resources for people who could use the help leads to waiting lists for services. Which means that the people who aren’t receiving treatment may try self-medication or going without. The growing trend is that these people are ending up in the jails before they are able to receive treatment. As a result the jails are becoming the treatment facility for people who have a mental health issue.

The good news is that the Sheriff’s Office, Mental Health Providers, and Counties are seeing the trend and turning it around.

This week on the program we will take a  look at mental health courts. These are special courts setup to keep people out of incarceration and instead getting them into treatment programs. Our roundtable will look at how the Sheriff’s Office works with mental health providers in the county. We’ll also discuss the challenges that Sheriff’s around the state face when they are faced with public safety issues that involve a persons mental health.

Our Guests this week:

Sheriff Cory Pulsipher, Washington County
Ali Snow, Deputy, Washington County Sheriff’s Office
Mike Deal, Southwest Behavioral Health Center

TCS – First Quarter Overview

The first quarter of Season 5 has flown by. This link will take you to a packet that we provided to NACIO for consideration for recognition by the National Association of Counties. It has been really exciting to see the evolution of the show. A big thanks goes out to our sponsors who have made this programming possible. If you are a viewer of the program please send us a message or let your own elected officials know how much you appreciate the information and topics that are covered on the County Seat.

-Derek Dowsett

BLM announces public scoping period for San Rafael Swell Travel Management Plan

Price, Utah—The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Price Field Office announces that the public scoping period for the San Rafael Desert Travel Management and Transportation Plan Environmental Assessment (EA) will run Jan. 21, to Feb. 21, 2015.

The purpose of public scoping is to determine relevant issues that will guide the planning process and influence the scope of the environmental analysis, including development of alternatives.  As a result of the travel management planning process, each route on lands managed by the Price Field Office will receive a designation of “open,” “closed,” or “limited to designated routes.”  The travel management plan will be subdivided into five areas with a separate EA and 30-day public scoping period for each area.  The first area to be analyzed is the San Rafael Desert area, which includes the San Rafael Desert south of I-70 and east of Hwy 24 to the Green River and Emery County line.
The BLM will host two open houses where the public can provide written input on route designation criteria and travel routes in the planning area that are important to their use of public lands.   These meetings will also help inform the public about the BLM’s travel management planning process.

In advance of the open houses, the public is encouraged to view a map of the planning area and current route inventory maps on the Environmental Notification Bulletin Board at: (search for project name “San Rafael Desert”).

Written comments will be accepted at the public scoping meetings and throughout the scoping period which ends Feb. 21, 2015.  Please reference “San Rafael Desert Travel Management” when submitting comments.  Comments may be mailed or emailed using the following:



BLM Price Field Office

125 South 600 East

Price, UT 84501



Informational open houses for the San Rafael Desert travel management area will be held at the following locations:


Jan. 21, 2015

4:00 to 8:00 p.m.

John Wesley Powell Museum

1765 East Main St

Green River, Utah 84525


Jan. 22, 2015

4:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Emery County Courthouse

75 East Main St

Castle Dale, Utah 84513

August is Tax Relief Month

August is Tax Relief MonthSalt Lake County has been reaching out to the community to let people know about tax relief programs that can provide some much needed help. Derek Dowsett attended one of their events for some background on available tax relief for all citizens in Utah who meet the qualifications.Terry Wood will sit down and discuss the appeals process on property taxes and available tax relief with Kevin Jacobs, the Salt Lake County Assessor and Wayne Cushing, the Salt Lake County Treasurer. What are the qualifications, process, and deadlines?Link to the Salt Lake County Treasurer’s Office:              

You may also find more information on property taxes here: more about the government that affects you most:

Thank you for your interest in the County Seat. If you have a topic to share please shoot us an email:

This Weekend’s Calendar of Events:

Beaver County Fair – 15 miles west of Beaver City on U-21.  For information call: 435-438-5081 AUG 21-23

Carbon County Helper Arts Festival Aug 15-17

Davis County Fair August 13th-16th:                                         Retirement as part of the Fair:                                 Garfield County : Bryce ATV Rally Aug 20-23 : Davis County 5K Walk/Run County Fair Mud Bog Aug 16

Rich County Fair Aug 14-16

San Juan County Friday Night at the Fort Jim Keyes Aug 15 County Fair Aug 13-16  

Weber County : Ogden Valley Balloon and Artist Festival Aug 15-17


Local vs Federal Law Enforcement on Public Lands. Who has authority?

County Sheriffs and Federal Law Enforcement

The question of who has authority has been a hot topic in the West. It most recently came to a boiling point in Clark County Nevada between Rancher Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management. The standoff has many local elected officials, particularly the Sheriffs concerned that the federal government is overstepping it’s boundaries.

We invited Former Millard County Sheriff Ed Phillips, Garfield County Commissioner LeLand Pollock and Garfeild County Sheriff Danny Perkins to talk about the issue. Commissioner Pollock and Sheriff Perkins had just returned from meeting in DC on this very topic.

Centrally Assessed Taxes in UTAH


Many of us are familiar with the assessments that take place on our own properties. You may have even appealed your valuation before. What about large industries that can cross several counties or even state lines? How are their values assessed?

This week on the County Seat Terry Wood looks into how an assessment is made on these industries.

Chad Booth will follow up that conversation with a round table discussion on the problems that arise when one of these Centrally Assessed Properties appeals their valuation and ends up paying less on their taxes. For some counties it can have a huge impact on the budget.

Tune into the County Seat this Sunday at 8:30am on ABC4UTAH.
Or you can catch the Episode after it airs online here:

If you want to learn more about centrally assessed taxes we had a great conversation about “splitting the baby” that wasn’t covered in this week’s show that you can watch here:

You may also want to like our Facebook Page for a continued conversation on this topic at:
or also on Twitter:

New Conversations involving the relocation of the Utah State Prison in Draper

The state has decided to move the prison facility in Draper. The discussion now is looking at where do you put a new prison? How do you finance it? and what can be done in terms of prison reform to lower recidivism.

On this weekend’s show we look to answers those questions with Representative Eric Hutchings and County Commissioner Mark Whitney. The additional perspective we look at on the show is how can the counties help?

About 20 counties are currently involved in housing state inmates already. The counties are already providing programs to help inmates tackle substance abuse. So the question now is how else can the state and counties partner to provide additional resources and services that will help people who are incarcerated get back into their communities and stay there.

You can get more info on the relocation of the prison here:

You may also want to watch our previous discussion on Wild Horses in case you missed it.

Wild Horse and Burros on Public Lands



The Wild Horse is an icon of the American West. As such they were protected under the Horse and Burro Act in 1971. 43 years later that very protection may be one of the biggest threats to Wild Horses.

This week the program looks at the Wild Horse program administered by the BLM and  the challenges that land managers face following rules, regulations and laws that have been put in place to protect Wild Horses. We also met with County representatives who are frustrated by the issues created by the overpopulation of Wild Horse herds. The issues on the ground affect a number of users of both Public and Private Lands.

Tune into the program this Sunday at 8:30 am on ABC4UTAH to see the discussion. Or look it up on our You Tube Channel: (May not be uploaded until Sunday Morning)

You may also want to watch our previous discussion on County Councils from last week’s show.

Or you can find more details from the BLM:

Including a great documentary on the Wild Horses and Burros: Good Background

If you think you might have a solution to the Wild Horse and Burro problem check out the BLM’s prize challenge for a solution:

Thank you for your interest in County Government and the important issues that affect your life on a daily basis. Below is a list of fun events taking place this weekend.

Great Events Around the State:

Tooele County:

Country Explosion July 17-20

Utah County

Casino Royale UTAH LAKE JULY 19th

Jiggle Fest JULY 19th

Sevier and Piute County: July 25-26

Rich County:

Bear Lake Monster Swim July 19

Alaskan Salmon BBQ July 19

Uintah County:

Dinosaur National Monument