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January 23, 2008

Contact:
   Tom Gorey
   202-452-5137

 BLM Seeks Bids for One or More New Pasture Facilities
 to Care for and Maintain Wild Horses 

As part of its responsibility to manage, protect, and control wild horses and burros, the Bureau of Land Management is soliciting bids for one or more new pasture facilities located anywhere in the continental United States. Each pasture facility must be able to provide humane care for and maintain at least 500 wild horses – up to as many as 2,500 – over a one-year period, with an option under BLM contract for an additional four one-year extensions. The BLM needs additional space for wild horses placed in long-term holding facilities, all of which are currently located in Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.

Details of the BLM’s requirements are posted in solicitation NAR080054, which is available today at http://www.fbo.gov. Applicants must be registered at http://www.ccr.gov to be considered for a contract award. The solicitation ends March 24, 2008.

The BLM manages wild horses and burros as part of its overall multiple-use land management mission. Under the authority of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, the Bureau manages and protects these living symbols of the Western spirit while ensuring that population levels are in balance with other public rangeland resources and uses. To achieve this balance, the BLM must remove thousands of animals from the range each year to control the size of herds, which have virtually no predators and can double in population every four years. Based on the most recent official data, the current free-roaming population of BLM-managed wild horses and burros is about 29,000, which exceeds by some 1,500 the number determined by the BLM to be the appropriate management level. Off the range, there are about 31,500 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.

After wild horses and burros are removed from the range, the Bureau works to place younger animals into private care through adoption. Since 1973, the BLM has adopted out more than 218,000 horses and burros. Under a December 2004 amendment to the 1971 wild horse law, animals over 10 years old, as well as those passed over for adoption at least three times, are eligible for sale. Since that amendment took effect, the BLM has sold more than 2,500 horses and burros.

For information about the BLM’s wild horse and burro program, see the agency’s Internet Home Page at www.blm.gov; for information on how to adopt a wild horse or burro, see www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov.

-BLM-