The Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Partnership with the Mustang Heritage Foundation

IM 2011-021
Instruction Memorandum


November 21, 2010


In Reply Refer To:

4710 (260) P



Instruction Memorandum No. 2011-021

Expires:  09/30/2012


To:           All Field Officials (except Alaska)

From:       Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning

Subject:    The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Partnership with the Mustang Heritage Foundation

Program Area:  Wild Horse and Burro (WH&B) Program

Purpose:  This Instruction Memorandum (IM) establishes policy and procedures with respect to the Bureau of Land Management’s partnership with the Mustang Heritage Foundation (MHF).  The purpose of this IM is to establish a framework for communication and problem resolution.  The IM defines the BLM’s roles and responsibilities. 

Policy/Action:  The BLM’s partnership with the MHF is a unique and ground-breaking effort to work with a private, non-profit organization on a large scale to train and adopt excess wild horses to qualified individuals.  At the heart of this partnership are the following principles:  (1) a recognition that demographic changes have led to increasing demand for horses with at least some training; (2) implementing a number of pilot projects and other programs and activities aimed at increasing the number of trained wild horses available for adoption without a Federal investment in infrastructure; and (3) reaching new and previously untapped adoption markets.  Since September 2007, nearly 2,700 excess wild horses have been trained and adopted through various MHF Programs and events.  Equally important is the marketing coverage which has directly benefited the WH&B Program through the media and internet, such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Trainer Blogs, etc. 

Good two-way communication is paramount to the success of any relationship, and the BLM’s partnership with the MHF is no exception. 

A.  Acronyms

  • NPO – National Program Office, Reno, Nevada
  • NSC – National Shipping Coordinator, NPO
  • OOJ – Office of Jurisdiction
  • PMACA – Private Maintenance and Care Agreement
  • POC – Point of Contact
  • SMS – Supervisory Marketing Specialist, WO
  • WH&B – Wild Horse and Burro Program
  • WO – Washington Office (Headquarters)

B.  Program Objectives/Project Management Plan

Specific program objectives are to: (1) market and promote specific programs, events, and activities to achieve successful adoptions of wild horses; (2) enhance public education and outreach; (3) increase the value of mustangs in the eyes of potential adopters; (4) develop relationships with competent horsemen and women (trainers).

Current MHF Programs include:

  • Trainer Incentive Program (TIP)
  • Youth and Yearling Program (YAY)
  • Extreme Mustang Makeover Events (EMM)
  • Mustang Storefront Program (MSF)

C.  BLM Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Supervisory Marketing Specialist (SMS).  The SMS at the Washington Office is responsible for the overall administration of the TIP, YAY, and MSF Programs and for the BLM’s assistance agreement with the MHF.  Contact the SMS at (202) 912-7265 with questions about current MHF Programs; ideas for any new programs, events or activities, or assistance with resolving any problems/concerns about the TIP, YAY, or MSF Programs.  The SMS is also responsible for the overall coordination of EMM events.  This includes working closely with the MHF and the State WH&B Lead to coordinate event dates/locations and identify the point of contact (POC), Office of Jurisdiction (OOJ), and media contact for each event.  The SMS and the National Marketing Team are also available to provide assistance with marketing and advertising EMM events or to resolve any potential problems or concerns     

      2.  State WH&B Leads.  State WH&B Leads are responsible for the effective facilitation, coordination, communication, and implementation of MHF Programs, activities, and events in their jurisdiction.  Contact the State WH&B Lead with questions about MHF Programs, events, or activities, to clarify roles/responsibilities, to coordinate compliance inspections, or request assistance with resolving performance issues relative to any TIP, YAY, or MSF trainer, or to address and promptly resolve allegations of animal cruelty, abuse, or neglect by any participating trainer.

      3.  Office of Jurisdiction (OOJ).  Among the OOJ’s responsibilities are:

  1. Provide positive, prompt, professional, and effective customer service.  Ensure the necessary staff is available to assist MHF Staff, participating trainers, and prospective adopters during regular business hours.
  2. When the TIP, YAY, or MSF trainer resides in the OOJ’s area of responsibility, the OOJ will:

(1) Within 5 business days from receipt:

  1. Review and recommend approval or disapproval of the trainer’s Facility Requirement Form.

(b) Review/approve adoption applications, Private Maintenance and Care Agreements (PMACA), and collect adoption fees regardless of where the adopter resides.

(2) Work closely with the MHF to address and resolve performance issues relative to any TIP, YAY, or MSF trainers in a timely and professional manner.

(3) Work closely with the MHF to track the disposition of wild horses assigned to TIP/YAY/MSF trainers.

  1. When the EMM event is held in the OOJ’s area of responsibility, the OOJ will:

(1) Work closely with SMS and MHF Staff to effectively plan, advertise/market, and conduct each event.

(2) Review and recommend approval or disapproval of the trainer’s Facility Requirement Forms within 5 business days.

(3) Provide adoption support at the event.

(4) Work closely with the MHF to track the disposition of wild horses placed with EMM trainers.

  1. Conduct compliance checks for TIP, YAY, MSF, and EMM trainers residing in your area of jurisdiction and assure appropriate follow-up, as needed.
  1. Promptly and appropriately investigate allegations of animal cruelty or abuse and work closely with the MHF to address/resolve any issues.


4.  BLM Facilities.  Responsibilities include:

  1. Select and prepare animals for TIP, YAY, MSF, or EMM Programs.
  2. Photograph horses about 30 days prior to pick-up for EMM. 
  3. At pick-up, finalize the Mustang Pick-Up Agreement Form and fax a copy to the MHF and the OOJ. 
  4. Prepare DI-105s for each horse loaded and fax/mail copies to the OOJ.
  1.      National Shipping Coordinator (NSC).  The NSC and MHF will coordinate the number, sex, and age of horses for EMM, YAY, MSF, and TIP.  Contact the NSC at (775) 861-6625 at the NPO to order additional inventory, as needed. 

Timeframe:  This instruction memorandum is effective immediately.

Budget Impact:  The full unit cost to train and adopt a mustang to a qualified individual through MHF Programs/events averaged about $2,200 per animal during Fiscal Year (FY) 2010.  The average cost savings for each animal not maintained in long-term holding for the remainder of its life is about $10,000 over 20 years.  The net cost savings to the BLM for horses trained and adopted through MHF events and activities in FY 2010 was $7,800 per animal over 20 years. 

Background:  Mustang Heritage Foundation competitive events have successfully trained and adopted nearly 2,700 wild horses since September 2007, which has resulted in widespread marketing and outreach within previously untapped adoption markets.  To ensure the continued success of these events, a clear understanding of the BLM’s role is essential.

Manual/Handbook Sections Affected:  No change or affect to BLM manuals or handbooks is required.

Coordination:  The IM was coordinated with WO staff, State WH&B Leads, Facility Managers and Mustang Heritage Foundation staff. 

Contact:  Questions concerning this policy should be directed to Sally Spencer, Supervisory Marketing Specialist, at (202) 912-7265.



Signed by:                                                       Authenticated by:

Lynda L. Boody                                             Robert M. Williams

Acting, Assistant Director                              Division of IRM Governance,WO-560

Renewable Resources and Planning