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American Wild Horses and Burros Still in Peril

It seems the Interior department is free of following the law.

Since I have been writing about our wild horses and burros the fight has been with the Department of the Interior, and Congress to ease up on their annual round-ups. However, since the recent wins in federal court, we all thought that the round-ups would soon be a thing of the past. Thus giving our American icons living on public lands a break and allowing them to be free of the hunt. But that has not happened. The just of these wins were orders and monetary appropriations, to begin safe birth control methods, if you will, using the PZP methods of fertilization. To remind you, PZP is the use of drugs fired from a rifle. It's cheap, easy, and less costly than the way the Interior Department people were doing it. Without inhumane, and unsafe surgeries. But that is not the case. Instead, Congress awarded them a great deal of money for getting the job done and told them to do the PZP way. That didn't happen though..In the first months of 2020, they began the largest round-up program of thousands of wild horses ever. And now, even the forestry department is involved in these round-ups. Will it never end?

Typical BLM Holding Facility.

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — In support of the Bureau of Land Management’s mission to sustainably manage wild horses and burros on public rangelands, the agency announced that is has completed the necessary environmental analyses to award contracts for three new and one expanded off-range corral facilities in the states of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

The four corrals, which will collectively hold 8,500 animals, will serve as short-term holding and preparation facilities for animals to be transferred to off-range pastures or adoption and sale locations throughout the country.

The final decision records for the three new facilities are subject to a 30-day appeal and are available for public review at: https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2000037/510. The three facilities are located in Cañon City, Colo., Sutherland, Utah, and Wheatland, Wyo. The expansion of the fourth facility — in Axtel, Utah — was accomplished under existing environmental analysis and therefore is not subject to further appeal.

The facilities will be staffed by contractor personnel and overseen by BLM staff with the knowledge, skills and ability to safely and humanely handle wild horses and burros and provide appropriate veterinary care.

The BLM removes excess animals from the range to control herd sizes, which can double in population every four years since wild horses and burros have virtually no natural predators that can control growth. These rapidly growing herds and the stress they place on the land requires BLM to remove more animals from the range than the agency can immediately place into private care. Off-range corrals provide needed capacity to hold these excess animals. As such, they are essential to BLM’s mission of maintaining healthy wild horse and burro herds on healthy rangelands.


As required under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, the BLM conducts an annual population inventory to estimate the number of wild horses and burros roaming BLM-managed lands in the West. To promote healthy conditions on the range, the BLM determines what it calls the Appropriate Management Level (AML), which is the number of wild horses and burros that can thrive in balance with other public land resources and uses. Wild horses and burros that exceed AML (which is 26,770) are to be removed from the range, in accordance with the 1971 law, as amended. The current estimated on-range wild horse and burro population (as of March 1, 2020) is 95,114 animals.

BLM holding pen Axtel, Utah.

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BLM Holding pen Axtel, Utah.

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BLM adoption programs are really quite plentiful, and workable.

In defense of the BLM let me say that there are many programs for people to adopt wild horses and burros. They will even help train people that have never owned horses before. There are also many different ways in which the BLM will help you to purchase and own a wild horse. All you have to do is contact them and make the necessary arrangements. This really is much better than the alternative.

The BLM will help you adopt a wild horse for as little as $25.00.( Watch video below.)

Adoption is far better than Slaughter.

I must say, as a strong advocate for wild horses and burros, for many years and being in opposition to the BLM and Interior Department, I honestly believe that the BLM may actually be trying to avoid killing off all our American icons of the old west. My opinion has always been the wild horses were here even before our native Americans. They have a right to survive wherever they are. Today, not so much...I will urge you to at least check out the BLM programs. I'm sure you will find one that fits your wants and budget.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.