November 1, 2006
Contact: Lesley A. Collins
Wyoming BLM’s Rock Springs Corrals Reduces Adoption Fee
For Certain Wild Horses in November and December
The Bureau of Land Management's Rock Springs Corral announced today that it will offer mares that are at least four years old for adoption at a reduced fee of $25 each during November. Most of these mares have been exposed to stallions and are expected to be pregnant. In addition, the Rock Springs Corral will offer geldings (four years old and up) for adoption at $25 each in December. The standard adoption fee for wild horses and burros is $125.
While providing savings to potential adopters, the reduced adoption fee is aimed at moving more BLM-managed animals that are currently in holding facilities into good homes of private owners. The BLM's cost for maintaining wild horses and burros in short- and long-term holding facilities accounts for more than half of the agency's total wild horse and burro budget, which was about $37 million in Fiscal Year 2006.
"We hope that anyone who has the interest and means of providing good care for these mares or geldings will come to our facility in November or December," said Alan Shepherd, WY BLM’s Wild Horse State Program Lead. Under the BLM's adoption program, an individual can adopt up to four animals within a one-year period; under certain circumstances, more than four can be adopted, but an adopter can receive titles of ownership to only four animals during that timeframe. Qualified adopters are eligible to receive title after providing one year of humane care.
Under the authority of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, the BLM manages, protects, and controls wild horses and burros as part of its overall multiple-use mission. The Bureau works to ensure that population levels are in balance with rangeland resources and other uses of the public lands; toward that end, the BLM removes thousands of wild horses and burros from the range each year to control the size of herds, which have virtually no predators and can double in population about every four years.
The current free-roaming population of wild horses and burros on BLM-managed lands is about 31,000, which exceeds by some 3,500 the number determined by the Bureau to be the appropriate management level. Off the range, there are more than 28,000 wild horses and burros cared for in either short-term (corral) or long-term (pasture) facilities. All animals in holding are protected by the BLM under the 1971 law.
The Bureau works to place as many of the wild horses and burros that are in holding into private care, and since 1973, the BLM has placed more than 213,000 animals into private ownership through adoption. Under a December 2004 amendment to the 1971 law, the Bureau also seeks good homes through sales of horses and burros that are more than 10 years old or have been passed over for adoption at least three times. (In the case of sales, the title of ownership passes immediately from the federal government to the buyer.) Since that amendment took effect, the BLM has sold more than 2,100 eligible horses and burros. The BLM encourages those who are interested in providing good homes to wild horses or burros to visit the agency's website (http://www.blm.gov/) for information about adoptions or sales.
For more information contact the Rock Springs Field Office at 307-352-0329.