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Dillon Field Office
Release Date: 02/03/10
Contacts: David Abrams 406-533-7617    

Wild Horse Long-Term Holding Pasture Put On Hold

Plans for a long-term holding pasture for excess wild horses near Ennis have been put on temporary hold.

The Bureau of Land Management is filing a motion with the Interior Board of Land Appeals to voluntarily stay its Dec. 28, 2009 decision to operate and maintain the pasture until a dispute between the owners of the Spanish Q Ranch can be resolved. Until the matter is resolved, the BLM cannot implement the proposed long-term holding pasture which was authorized to initially receive 805 horses later this spring.

In addition to the private matter between the owners, the BLM has received two appeals of its Dec. 28 decision to pasture the wild horses at the Spanish Q. A stay of action was also requested in a joint filing from the Skyline Sportsmen’s Association, Anaconda Sportsmen’s Club, and the Coalition for Appropriate Management of State Land.

Action on these appeals will likely be delayed while the private parties work to resolve the matter under dispute.

Pending resolution of the private matter, if the BLM vacates its decision, no further action would be taken with regard to the two appeals (i.e., the appeals would be rendered moot).  Alternatively, if the BLM does elect to move forward, the Interior Board of Land Appeals would have 45 days to grant or deny the petition for a stay pending a hearing on the merits of the appeal.

In the event of any resolution of the private matter or the appeals, the BLM will release further information regarding the future of the proposed long-term holding pasture.

Long term holding pastures are designed to provide unadoptable wild horses with humane life-long care in a natural setting off the public rangelands. Wild horses that have not been adopted because of age or other factors have previously been placed on private land sanctuaries in Oklahoma, Iowa, Kansas and South Dakota.

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.

Dillon Field Office   1005 Selway Drive      Dillon, MT 59725   

Last updated: 06-28-2012