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Release Date: 10/15/10
Contacts: Tom Gorey , 202-912-7420  

Update on Public Comments Received re: Wild Horse and Burro Strategy

The BLM received approximately 9,000 comment letters and e-mails on the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Strategy Development Document. The document described draft goals, objectives, and possible management actions for future wild horse and burro management and was released to the public on June 3, 2010, for a 60-day review and comment period. As part of the BLM’s public engagement effort, the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board also hosted a public workshop on key management issues on June 14, 2010. Because of the high degree of public interest in the Strategy Development Document, the BLM extended the public comment period on the document for another 30 days (to September 3). 

Comments totaled 1,069 pages. More than 200 issues were identified and hundreds of suggestions aimed at improving the BLM’s strategy were received.

Key findings include:

  • Many Americans continue to be passionate about wild horses and burros and their management.
  • There continue to be very different views about how America’s wild horses and burros should be managed. These include:
      • Focusing management on a smaller number of “Treasured Herds” on “preserves” or sanctuaries in the West, where wild horses and burros and native wildlife would constitute the principal resources on public lands, consistent with land-health objectives.
      • Reducing the Appropriate Management Level (AML) of wild horses and burros or implementing an aggressive population suppression program using the widest possible array of management tools to balance herd population growth with public adoption demand.  This approach would seek to attain AML and a thriving natural ecological balance while maintaining multiple-use relationships on Western public rangelands. 
      • Returning wild horses and burros to their original 1971 Herd Areas or expanding use areas to other places on public lands while allowing natural processes to adjust population size. 

In the weeks ahead, the BLM will be carefully considering all the comments received to develop a draft strategy for the future management of America’s wild horses and burros.

As part of this effort, the BLM is continuing to conduct a detailed analysis of all the comments received. When that analysis is complete, additional information about the breadth, scope, and diversity of the comments received will be accessible at 

The BLM plans to make the draft management strategy available for a 30-day public comment and review period in about mid-December. 

Link to News Release on Wild Horse and Burro Strategy Development Document (June 3, 2010)

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.

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Last updated: 10-18-2010