Bureau of Land Management reissues solicitation seeking services to expand fertility control efforts for wild horses and burros
The Bureau of Land Management has modified and reissued a solicitation seeking new contract services to humanely gather, treat with fertility control, and then release wild horses and burros back to the range. The BLM anticipates making up to $20 million available over one to five years for these efforts, subject to the agency’s discretion, based on future needs and appropriations. A previous solicitation for these services announced on May 10, 2022, has been rescinded due to the earlier solicitation being protested. This reissuance resolves that protest with minor modifications. The BLM is committed to awarding any contracts under this new solicitation in a timely manner to ensure this important work continues to efficiently move forward.
Wild horse and burro herds grow rapidly on public lands and can double every four or five years if not managed. As of March 1, 2022, the BLM estimated there were more than 82,000 wild horses and burros on public lands, which is more than three times the healthy amount. Overpopulated herds are put at increased risk for starvation and thirst, and they can over-use and degrade forage and water resources that are also important for thousands of other wildlife species that share public lands. As extreme drought conditions continue across the West, these impacts are being amplified.
Though some animals can be darted with fertility control with the help of partners and volunteers, most animals need to be gathered for treatment due to the large and remote landscapes they inhabit. All activities to manage wild horses and burros, including gather operations, must follow required handling standards to prioritize animal care and welfare. As a result of BLM’s commitment to humane treatment, wild horse and burro gathers have a very high success rate and serious injuries are exceedingly rare.
Contracts awarded under this solicitation will, under BLM supervision, perform wild horse and burro gathers using approved bait-trap and helicopter-assisted methods, apply an assigned fertility control treatment, provide any care/short-term holding that may be required, and then release the animals back to public lands. Contracts will be for a period of five years. Offerors who submitted a proposal to the previous solicitation are asked to submit a new proposal to this solicitation.
The solicitation closes 3 p.m. MT on November 30, 2022. Access the solicitation.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.