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Wild Horses and Burros Adoption

BLM Colorado's Wild Horse and Burro Program

Wild Horses

In 1971, Congress passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act to protect and manage wild horses and burros on public lands. BLM manages four wild horse herd management areas: Piceance/East Douglas, Little Book Cliffs, Sandwash Basin, and Spring Creek Basin.

Colorado adopts about 150 wild horses and burros each year. Wild horses and burros are offered for adoption two Fridays each month at the Canon City Wild Horse Inmate Program (WHIP) and occasionally in other areas of the state. In 1986, the BLM and Colorado Department of Corrections formed a partnership creating WHIP, which is administered from the Royal Gorge Field Office. Select mustangs are trained by inmates who undergo both classroom and on the job training through an accredited college curriculum. Since the inception of the program, more than 3,000 inmates have participated. They have gentled or trained more than 5,000 animals gathered from western rangelands.

You Can Adopt a BLM Wild Horse in Colorado Year Round

BLM holds adoptions at the East Cañon Correctional Complex outside Cañon City two Fridays per month. You can usually choose from more than 1,000 wild horses and burros. Minimum adoption fee is $125 per untrained animal, $1,025 for saddle trained mustangs, and varying prices for halter trained animals.

You must be a pre-approved adopter in order to make an appointment. Please schedule your appointment no later than the Tuesday before the Friday adoption you would like to attend.

To request an application call the Royal Gorge Field Office at 719-269-8500 or download an application here.

Individuals interested in adopting a wild horse or burro may obtain information from the Bureau of Land Management by:

  • Writing BLM 3028 E. Main, Cañon City, CO 81212
  • Calling the Royal Gorge Field Office at 719-269-8500

Field Offices are responsible for Herd Management in their areas. Occasionally volunteers are needed for foal-count or gathers. Please contact the respective field office if you wish to offer your services. There are four herd management areas in Colorado:

  1. Little Bookcliffs Grand Junction Field Office at 970-244-3000
  2. Spring Creek  Tres Rios Field Office at 970-882-7296
  3. Sandwash  Little Snake Field Office at 970-826-5000
  4. Piceance/E. Douglas  White River Field Office at 970-878-3800

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