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Wild Horses and Burros Challenge BLM

May 13
09:43 2014

Wild horses and burros are presenting a challenge for the BLM (Bureau of Land Management), as they have no predators and can double in population every four years. While horses and burros helped settle the west, their wild descendants present a challenge for the Bureau of Land Management, whose responsibility is to manage and protect these animals.

wild burrosCurrently there’s an overpopulation problem. According to BLM, there are over 40,605 free-roaming horses and burros, exceeding the optimum population by nearly 14,000.

Under authority of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, BLM ensures that population levels are kept in balance. To control the size of herds, BLM removes excess animals from the range. Off the range, there are more than 48,000 wild horses and burros. These animals are cared for in short-term corrals and long-term pastures. On and off the range, all wild horses and burros are protected by the BLM under the 1971 law.

Now Accepting Bids for Short-Term Facilities

BLM is currently looking for new, short-term holding facilities in 17 western and midwestern states, including Arizona and Utah. Bids are being solicited for short-term corrals to provide humane care for a year for at least 200 horses and burros. The animals will stay in the short-term facility until they are adopted or moved to a long-term pasture. These facilities must be close to a major U.S. highway. The solicitation is open until June 2, 2014.

The BLM’s bidding requirements are posted in solicitation L14PS00389. Details are available here. To obtain the solicitation:
(1) click on “Search Public Opportunities”
(2) under Search Criteria, select “Reference Number”
(3) put in the solicitation number (L14PS00389)
(4) click “Search” and the solicitation information will appear.

BLM in Cedar City seeks comments on Environmental Assessment

The BLM Cedar City Field Office seeks public comment on an Environmental Assessment analyzing proposed wild horse gather, removal and fertility treatment in the Bible Spring Complex.

The four Herd Management Areas that make up the Bible Spring Complex are located in western Iron and Beaver counties. The Bible Spring Complex is approximately 222,929 acres of public, private and state lands.

The EA, including maps, is available here. It analyzes a proposal to gather and remove excess wild horses and apply fertility control over a 10-year period.

Written comments will be accepted by letter or email until May 30, 2014. Please reference “Bible Spring Complex Wild Horse Gather Plan EA” when submitting comments. The most useful comments are those that contain new technical or scientific information relevant to the proposed action. Comments should be as specific as possible.

Written comments may be e-mailed to [email protected] Send comments by mail to the following address:
BLM Cedar City Field Office
Attn: Cedar City Field Office Manager
176 E. DL Sargent Drive
Cedar City, UT 84721

Be aware that your entire comment, including personal identifying information, may be made public at any time. The BLM will not consider anonymous comments.

Deadline Extended for Population Control Proposals

The BLM is extending its application deadline for research proposals regarding population control of free-roaming wild horses and burros to May 28, 2014. The original deadline was May 7. The agency is reaching out to veterinarians, scientists, universities, pharmaceutical companies and other researchers outside of the agency for ideas for effective contraceptive techniques.

We are looking for breakthrough methods of controlling population growth rates, which will lessen the need to remove animals from the range while saving taxpayers money.”–Joan Guilfoyle, Division Chief of the Wild Horse and Burro Program

In its Request for Applications, the BLM declared its interest in the development of new techniques for contraception or sterilization of on-range wild horses and burros. Methods may be surgical, chemical, or pharmaceutical, and may also include intrauterine devices. A set of questions and answers regarding the applications can be found here.

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