Division of Wild Horses and Burros (HQ-260)

horses on the range

Healthy Horses, Healthy Rangelands

The Wild Horses and Burros Division (HQ-260) provides guidance, policies, rules, regulations, and procedures to manage and protect wild horses and burros on public lands as directed by the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and other congressional legislation. The division’s goal is to manage and protect healthy wild horses and burros on healthy public rangelands. Priorities include reducing overpopulation on public lands to achieve appropriate management levels where such overpopulation contributes to range degradation and reducing the number of animals in corrals and pastures through adoptions and sales. The division supports management actions across state, district, and field offices, including developing a national gather schedule, procuring off-range corrals and pastures, coordinating animal transportation, developing and administering national agreements, and providing national outreach/marketing support. The division partners with a range of stakeholders and a national advisory board to identify possible solutions to this complex resource management challenge. HQ-260 accomplishes its role through the following two branches.

On-Range Operations Branch

profile view of a horse standing outdoors

The On-Range Operations Branch (HQ-261) is primarily responsible for coordinating management of wild horses and burros on BLM public lands, including providing on-range management guidance, developing and maintaining the annual gather schedule, coordinating transport of animals, managing gather contracts, and directing research efforts.

Off-Range Operations Branch

The Off-Range Operations Branch (HQ-262) is primarily responsible for coordinating management of wild horses and burros removed from the range, including providing off-range management guidance, coordinating a nationwide plan for animal placement into private care and outreach efforts, maintaining assistance agreements with national partners, and managing off-range corral and pasture contracts.

Additional Division Details and Facts

  • Through national policy and regulations, guides the management of 177 herd management areas on almost 27 million acres of BLM-managed public lands in 10 western states with a combined appropriate management level of almost 27,000 wild horses and burros.
  • The current estimated population of wild horses and burros is about four times the appropriate management level.
  • Maintains more than 50,000 unadopted and unsold wild horses and burros in off-range pastures and corrals.
  • Funds and manages research projects for improved management tools; coordinates and supports survey activities for population monitoring; and supports state and district private placement efforts through national-level marketing, advertising, and public affairs programs.
  • Operates a public national information center.
  • Manages efforts to conduct advisory board meetings, national agreements with partners, and division briefings for the BLM Director and Department.

Collaboration

In addition to working closely with other BLM programs and BLM state, district, and field offices, the division engages with federal agencies (U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Forest Service, and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service), states, tribes, universities, nongovernmental organizations, and other interested organizations. Benefits of collaboration include helping train and place wild horses and burros in private care, engaging youth and veterans in training programs, and bringing educational opportunities to the public.

photo of a person guiding a horse and holding an American flag

Contact Information

Please contact the following HQ-260 leaders to learn how the division can support your needs.

Holle’ Waddell
Division Chief (Acting)
(202) 603-3740
hwaddell@blm.gov

Scott Fluer
On-Range Branch Chief (Acting)
(406) 896-5222
sfluer@blm.gov

Paul McGuire
Off-Range Branch Chief (Acting)
(405) 579-7190
pmcguire@blm.gov

Michael Reiland
Resource Advisor
(202) 749-2479
mreiland@blm.gov