BLM to remove fewer horses than usual | TSLN.com

BLM to remove fewer horses than usual

As part of the BLM's Wild Horse and Burro management, they gather animals each year to maintain the ecological health of our nation's public rangelands.

Right now, much of the West is suffering ongoing severe drought. In the areas hardest hit by drought and where wildfires have resulted in reduced forage, the health of wild horses and burros will likely decline. Many livestock permittees have already taken voluntary steps to significantly reduce the number of cattle grazing on public lands as a result of drought.

This year, limits on the Wild Horse and Burro program's budget and on the number of additional horses and burros we can hold means that we will remove fewer animals than in previous years. This will exacerbate the difficult challenges we face in nearly every aspect of the wild horse program right now. For example, in 2013, adoptions of wild horses and burros were just 2,671, while nearly 50,000 animals remained in BLM care, at an annual cost of more than $46 million. This has been coupled with other problems, including increasing populations of wild horses and burros.

In an effort to do as much as possible with the budget we have and with the severe conditions on the ground, we will determine where to gather wild horses and burros this year on a variety of factors. For example, we will look closely at areas where emergencies exist or where animals have moved from public land to private property or where we are under court order to remove animals. We will also consider other issues including public health and safety concerns that occur due to wild horses and burros. Some gathers will be assessed and addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Below are tentative details about the expected gathers for 2014. Please note that the number of gathers, the scheduled start dates, and the number of animals gathered are estimates only and may change as circumstances warrant. We will update this information if any changes occur.

For further information on this year's Wild Horse and Burro Program gather schedule, and tentative details about the expected gathers for 2014 go to http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbprogram/herd_management/tentative_gather_schedule.html

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–BLM