2022 Adoption Incentive Program for Wild Horses and Burros
United States Department of the Interior
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Grand Junction, Colorado 81506
December 19, 2021
Supersedes IM 2019-025
In Reply Refer To:
4750 (260) P
EMS TRANSMISSION 01/26/2022
Instruction Memorandum No. 2022-014
To: All Field Office Officials
From: Assistant Director, Resources and Planning
Subject: Adoption Incentive Program for Wild Horses and Burros
Program Area: Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro (WHB) Program.
Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) outlines policies and procedures for administering the Adoption Incentive Program (AIP) for untrained wild horses and burros. This IM supersedes IM No. 2019-025, Adoption Incentive Program for Wild Horses and Burros.
Administrative or Mission Related: Mission
Policy/Action: The AIP, which is a component of the BLM’s overall adoption program, is intended to increase the number of adoptions of untrained wild horses and burros by offering an incentive to adopters valued at up to $1,000 to defray the costs of care, such as veterinary services, feed, and training. The incentive should be paid within 60 days after the adoption title date. BLM authorized personnel may make all untrained excess wild horses and burros that have been removed from the range and that meet the criteria outlined in Incentive Program Direction below eligible for adoption under the AIP. The BLM continues to explore the feasibility of other incentives in addition to cash payments that will advance the purpose of this policy, which is to increase the number of adoptions of untrained wild horses and burros to well-qualified homes.
Incentive Program Direction
- The AIP is administered only by BLM authorized personnel.
- The National Operations Center (NOC) should make incentive payments into adopters’ financial institution account within 60 days after the adoption title date.
- Authorized BLM personnel should ensure that adopters participating in the AIP complete the Adoption Incentive Agreement (4710-25 Attachment 2) at the time they sign the Private Maintenance and Care Agreement and adhere to the terms of those agreements.
- The BLM does not offer incentives under the AIP for animals purchased through the sales program.
- All untrained animals offered at any BLM off-range corrals, online corral events, satellite events and any BLM-approved events and locations are eligible to be adopted through the AIP regardless of species, age, sex, color, herd management area or the number of times the animal has been offered for adoption or sale.
- The BLM authorized personnel must ensure that all adopters meet applicable adoption requirements, complete and sign an adoption application (4710-10), and have it approved by the BLM.
- Before providing adopters with an incentive valued at up to $1,000 within 60 days after an adopter obtains title to the animal, BLM authorized personnel should:
- Ensure that the adopter’s Title Application is signed by a veterinarian or BLM authorized officer to be eligible to receive the incentive. An adopter may still receive title to an animal if their Title Application is signed by an individual acceptable under 43 CFR 4750.5(b) who is not a veterinarian or BLM authorized officer; however, that adopter should not receive the incentive.
- Ensure that the Adoption Incentive Agreement (4710-25 Attachment 2) contains the date of issuance of title, and that the Agreement (and the ACH Vendor/Miscellaneous Payment Enrollment Form (SF 3881 Attachment 3) for cash incentives) are submitted to the email@example.com before processing the incentive.
- BLM authorized officers should generally provide an adopter with an incentive valued at $1,000. The BLM authorized officer must request through the Division Chief and obtain approval from the Assistant Director, Resources and Planning to provide an incentive valued at less than $1,000.
- The minimum adoption fee for animals offered under the AIP is $125, though the final fee may be higher as determined by competitive or non-competitive bidding.
- The BLM may allow each adopter participating in the AIP to adopt and maintain a maximum of four untitled animals in a twelve-month period; no more than four untitled AIP animals may be kept at any single location unless the facility is approved by a BLM authorized officer (Attachment 5, form 4710.24). As each participating animal is titled, the BLM may allow an adopter to adopt additional animal(s), (up to the maximum of four untitled animals in a twelve-month period) through the AIP.
- BLM authorized officers or other BLM-approved individuals should conduct compliance inspections on adopted animals participating in the AIP within six months after the adoption date. These animals will be identified on a newly developed Wild Horse and Burro Program System (WHBPS) report titled “Required Inspections for Incentive Animals.” These reports will be available to BLM employees after the animal information is entered into WHBPS.
- BLM authorized officers should remove eligibility to participate in the AIP from any adopter that relinquishes two or more animals within a 12-month period or does not adhere to the terms and conditions of the Adoption Incentive Agreement (4710-25 Attachment 2).
- BLM employees should issue an Adoption Incentive Ineligibility Letter (Attachment 4) to adopters who are no longer eligible to participate in the AIP. Adopters who relinquish an animal, but retain other animals participating in the AIP, remain eligible to receive incentive payments for the remaining animals 60 days after those animals are titled. Such adopters are not eligible to receive incentives for relinquished animals.
- Reassigned animals and animals that are relinquished to BLM remain eligible for adoption through the AIP.
- BLM employees and members of their immediate household (defined as spouse and any dependents 18 years old and older) and individuals or organizations receiving BLM wild horse and burro funds either through a contract or agreement and members of their immediate household are NOT eligible to participate in the AIP.
Incentive Program Process
Step 1: At the time of adoption, authorized BLM personnel should ask the adopter if they intend to participate in the AIP.
If NO – The BLM authorized personnel should obtain a completed and signed Adoption Incentive Agreement from the adopter, forfeiting eligibility to participate in the AIP. The BLM authorized personnel must also obtain an approved completed adoption application, a Private Maintenance and Care Agreement (PMACA), and the adoption fee. Do not move to next steps.
If YES – The BLM authorized personnel should obtain a completed and signed Adoption Incentive Agreement from the adopter. The BLM authorized personnel should also obtain an approved adoption application, a PMACA, and the adoption fee. Continue to next steps.
Step 2: The BLM authorized personnel should complete the adoption process and provide two copies of the Adoption Incentive Agreement to the adopter along with other required adoption paperwork.
Step 3: The BLM authorized personnel should complete data entry within 10 business days of completion of the event (indicating adopters and animals participating in the AIP as identified in the Adoption Incentive WHBPS Guide (Attachment 1)), build the official file, and complete the record.
The BLM office of jurisdiction should maintain the signed PMACA, the completed and signed adoption application, and the completed and signed Adoption Incentive Agreement for official Bureau records.
Step 4: A link to the ACH Vendor/Miscellaneous Payment Enrollment Form (SF 3881) along with the Title Application (4710-18) will be sent to adopters at least 30 days prior to the title eligibility date (one year from the adoption date). BLM authorized personnel should ensure that adopters have submitted an ACH Vendor Miscellaneous Enrollment Form (SF 3881) and Title Application (4710-18) before issuing a cash incentive. BLM authorized personnel should ensure that the Title Application is properly signed by a veterinarian or BLM authorized officer and all required forms are forwarded to the firstname.lastname@example.org for processing within 10 days of receipt from the adopter. If the Title Application is signed by an individual who is acceptable under 43 CFR 4750.5(b) but is not a veterinarian or BLM authorized officer, BLM authorized personnel should submit the signed application for issuance of title only, not issuance of an incentive.
The following completed paperwork should be submitted to the NOC for processing the incentive:
- Adoption Incentive Agreement
- Signed and dated by Adopter with correct name associated with Social Security Number
- Signed and dated by BLM Authorized Officer
- Title date must be entered
- Ensure contact information is complete and legible (IMPORTANT: In case the BLM needs to contact the adopter regarding incentive payment)
- ACH Vendor/Miscellaneous Payment Enrollment Form (SF 3881 Attachment 3), for cash incentives only
- Signed and dated by Adopter with correct name associated with Social Security Number
- Banking information
- Social Security Number or EIN.
- Adoption Incentive Agreement
Once the required paperwork is completed, BLM authorized personnel should scan and email the paperwork to email@example.com.
The NOC should issue incentive payments via electronic funds transfer (EFT) within 60 days of receipt of all completed paperwork.
If BLM authorized personnel have any questions, please contact the NOC at firstname.lastname@example.org. Adopters are encouraged to contact the office of jurisdiction or National Information Center at email@example.com.
Timeframe: This IM is effective immediately.
Budget Impact: The budget impacts of this policy will reduce off-range holding costs and allow those savings to support critical on-range operations.
Background: Since 1971, the BLM has removed animals from the range and made them available for adoption in accordance with the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. Placing animals into private care is a tenet of the Act and a vital component of the WHB program. The AIP is intended to increase the number of adoptions of untrained wild horses and burros by offering financial incentives to defray costs associated with caring for a wild horse or burro, such as veterinary care, feed, and training. In August 2021, the BLM committed to 8 substantial reforms to the AIP (https://www.blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro/adoptions-and-sales/adoption-incentive-program). The BLM continues to explore the feasibility of other incentives in addition to cash payments that will advance the purpose of this policy, increasing the number of adoptions of untrained wild horses and burros to well-qualified homes.
Manual/ Handbook Sections Affected: This IM amends the Adoption of Wild Horses and Burros Handbook, H 4750-2, Chapter 2 – General Adoption Requirements and Procedures.
Coordination: This policy was coordinated with the WHB State Leads and Specialists, Headquarters WHB Program Staff, BLM Budget Office Staff, National Operations Center Staff, and the Interior Business Staff; and the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Veterinarian. The policy was reviewed by the Office of the Solicitor, Associate State Directors, and the Office of Communications.
Contact: Questions concerning this policy should be directed to the Branch Chief, Wild Horse and Burro Program (Off-Range) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Signed By: Authenticated by:
David Jenkins Ambyr Fowler
Assistant Director Division of Regulatory Affairs
Resources and Planning and Directives (HQ-630)
1 -Adoption Incentive WHBPS Guide (2 pp)
2 -Adoption Incentive Agreement 4710-25 Example ordered from PMDS (2 pp)
3 -ACH Vendor/Miscellaneous Payment Enrollment Form SF 3881 Example (1 p)
4 -Adoption Incentive Ineligibility Letter (1 p)
5 – Facility Certification Form 4710-24
 This IM is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity by a party against the United States, its departments, agencies, instrumentalities or entities, its officers or employees, or any other person.