BLM Logo
Release Date: 07/29/09
Contacts: Vanessa Delgado 303-239-3681    
  Fran Ackley 719-269-8511    

Federal Collaboration Finds New Uses for Wild Horses

LAKEWOOD, Colo. - What began as a pilot project for the U.S. Border Patrol’s Spokane Sector to use wild horses to patrol America’s borders is quickly becoming common practice for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in an initiative dubbed Project Noble Mustang.

In the last two years, various Border Patrol stations have adopted 31 mustangs through the BLM Colorado Wild Horse Inmate Program (WHIP). Another 10 are still in training.

The WHIP is a cooperative agreement between the BLM and the Colorado Department of Corrections at the Cañon City, Colorado Correctional Institution and is part of an inmate rehabilitative program. The inmates provide personal and extensive training for wild horses before the horses are adopted by the Border Patrol. The Cañon City facility is the largest of five facilities in the country that hosts training for the horses.

“The WHIP is an excellent program that helps rehabilitate the inmates and helps the BLM provide trained mustangs to the public, and now with Project Noble Mustang we’re bringing this process full circle to reduce the number of wild horses in holding facilities,” said Fran Ackley, horse lead for the BLM Colorado.  “With the success the Border Patrol is having with the mustangs, we hope to one day be the primary provider of horses for the agency.”

Of the 31 already adopted, 21 are positioned along the northern border within the Spokane Sector at six different Border Patrol stations from eastern Washington to western Montana.  Because of its success, the program has expanded to include 10 mustangs along the southwest border at four different Border Patrol Stations. Of the 10 currently in training, four will go to the northern border and six will go to the southern border.

The BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program manages wild horses and burros to ensure healthy, free-roaming herd populations at levels consistent with the land’s capacity to support them.  The BLM manages more than 37,000 wild horses and burros (approximately 33,100 horses and 3,800 burros) that roam public rangelands in 10 Western states.

The WHIP is open two Fridays each month for adoptions and offers saddle trained, halter trained, and untrained horses for adoption.  For more information about the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro program or adopting a mustang please visit  To see some of the 2,200 horses currently available for adoption in Cañon City, go to

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 sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

  2850 Youngfield St.      Lakewood, CO 80215  

Last updated: 01-22-2010