In order to alleviate an excess of wild horses and burros in the region, an adoption event is being held to get those animals to people who can tend to them.
The Bureau of Land Management kicked off its 2016 wild horse and burro adoption last week as Internet adoptions began on Feb. 9.
Federal law states that excess wild horses and burros must be put into the hands of caring, private owners.
“I urge people from across the country to attend an adoption event this year and bring home one of these icons of the West,” said Neil Kornze, BLM director. “Giving a good home to a wild horse or burro has the double benefit of saving taxpayers nearly $50,000 each time an animal gets adopted.
“Adopters are getting themselves a great companion and in the process are helping to sustain the health and productivity of Western public rangelands.”
The BLM manages and protects wild horses and burros under the authority of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. This law allows the BLM to remove excess wild horses and burros from the range to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands.
The BLM said that there are over 47,000 off-range horses and burros that are fed and cared for in either off-range corrals or off-range pastures costing $49 million a year. That amount is responsible for 65 percent of the BLM’s wild horse and burro program budget. Each horse or burro put into private care saves taxpayers almost $50,000.
According to the BLM, wild horses and burros are known for their sure-footedness, strength, intelligence and endurance. An untrained wild horse or burro generally costs $125.
Adoption event sites and dates are subject to change without notice. Interested parties are urged to call the National Wild Horse and Burro Information Center for up-to-date information at 866-468-7826 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wild horses and burros can also be obtained by contacting an adoption facility, by placing a bid during a scheduled Internet adoption event, or by buying sale-eligible animals through the agency’s sales program.
Any interested adopters are asked to download the adoption application from the BLM’s website and review the rules and requirements pertaining to adoption.
The BLM determines the appropriate management level or the number of wild horses and burros that can thrive on the range in balance with other public land resources and uses in order to promote healthy conditions on Western public rangelands.
The number of wild horses and burros that west-wide level can handle is 26,715, with anything above that being subject to removal from the range, in accordance with the 1971 law.
As of March 1, 2015, the estimated on-range wild horse and burro population was 58,150, meaning the current west-wide on-range population exceeds the healthy management level by 31,435.
For information about the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program, you can visit the agency’s quick facts and myths and facts pages at: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbprogram/history_and_facts/quick_fact… and
Contact reporter Mick Akers at email@example.com. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.