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Dillon Field Office
Release Date: 12/29/09
Contacts: Mary Apple 406-896-5258    

BLM Approves Wild Horse Pasture Near Ennis

The Bureau of Land Management has decided to establish a long-term holding (LTH) pasture for excess wild horses on the Spanish Q Ranch near Ennis, Montana.  Long-term holding pastures are designed to provide unadoptable wild horses with humane, life-long care in a natural setting, off the public rangelands. 

Initial stocking will be limited to a maximum of 805 wild horses. Horses will receive supplemental feed (locally grown hay) for about four months each year. Wild horses could begin to arrive at the ranch in February 2010.

The overall goal for the proposed Ennis LTH Pasture is to manage for healthy wild horses and to maintain the private lands in a healthy ecological condition. To meet this goal, the final horse stocking rate will be determined based on the results of on-the-ground monitoring. If monitoring indicates additional forage is available, stocking could be increased up to a maximum of 1,000 horses. If monitoring indicates insufficient forage is available, an appropriate number of wild horses would be relocated from the Spanish Q Ranch to a short-term holding facility or a LTH pasture in another state that has surplus capacity.

BLM's environmental assessment analyzed the potential environmental impacts associated with grazing wild horses. The range of alternatives included the Proposed Action (up to 1,500 geldings), Alternative A (up to a maximum of 1,000 geldings with initial stocking limited to 805 horses), and No Action (Continue Livestock  Grazing).  

Wild horses that are in excess of the adoption or sale demand (because of age or other factors) have also been placed on private land sanctuaries in Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, and South Dakota in the past.
The decision record and finding of no significant impact are available online at:

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.

Dillon Field Office   1005 Selway Drive      Dillon, MT 59725  

Last updated: 06-28-2012