BLM Logo
Wyoming State Office
Release Date: 12/13/12
Contacts: Cindy Wertz    
  (307) 775-6014    

BLM's first ecosanctuary is up and running

The horses have arrived!

About 200 wild horses are now living at the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) first ecosanctuary, 30 miles west of Laramie, Wyo.

In response to the BLM’s Request for Applications, the Deerwood Ranch in Centennial Valley, Wyo., was selected in February 2012 as the site for the BLM’s first wild horse ecosanctuary. Rich and Jana Wilson own the 4,000-acre ranch and will provide long-term, humane care for up to 300 excess wild horses gathered from Western public rangelands.

BLM authorized the ecosanctuary in August after an extensive NEPA process. Under the proposal, the BLM will sponsor the ecosanctuary at a funding level comparable to what the Bureau pays for the care of excess wild horses on long-term pastures in the Midwest. The partnership agreement contains an ecotourism component which will defray costs for operating the sanctuary and save taxpayer dollars through fundraising.

Following the approval, the Wilsons spent time building new fences, modifying existing fences and replacing all of the cattleguards with electric gates. In October, the first group of horses arrived from other BLM horse holding facilities.

“All of the horses coming to the Deerwood Ranch were originally gathered in Wyoming,” said June Wendlandt, BLM Wyoming’s Wild Horse and Burro Program Lead. “We’re really happy to partner with the Wilsons on this first ecosanctuary. They have an outstanding facility to provide a good home for these horses.”

BLM and the Deerwood Ranch are still developing plans to host tours at the new ecosanctuary and will be hosting a grand opening next spring or early summer.

For more information on the ecosanctuary and to see photos of the horses, visit our website at:

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.

Wyoming State Office   PO Box 1828      Cheyenne, WY 82003  

Last updated: 12-13-2012