In accordance with Federal law, which requires excess wild horses and burros in the West to be placed with caring private owners, the Bureau of Land Management today announced its 2016 adoption schedule for these special animals that evoke the history of the American West. The new adoption schedule can be found at http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbprogram/adoption_program/schedule.html.
"I urge people from across the country to attend an adoption event this year and bring home one of these icons of the West," said BLM Director Neil Kornze. "Giving a good home to a wild horse or burro has the double benefit of saving taxpayers nearly $50,000 each time an animal gets adopted.”
Kornze added, “Adopters are getting themselves a great companion and in the process are helping to sustain the health and productivity of Western public rangelands.”
The BLM manages and protects wild horses and burros under the authority of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (as amended by Congress in 1976, 1978, 1996, and 2004). This law authorizes the BLM to remove excess wild horses and burros from the range to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands. Currently, more than 47,000 off-range horses and burros are fed and cared for in either off-range corrals or off-range pastures at a cost of $49 million a year, which accounts for 65 percent of the BLM's Wild Horse and Burro Program budget. Each horse or burro placed into private care saves taxpayers nearly $50,000.
Wild horses and burros are known for their sure-footedness, strength, intelligence, and endurance. An untrained animal generally costs $125.
Adoption event sites and dates are subject to change without notice. Please call the National Wild Horse and Burro Information Center for the most updated information (866-4MUSTANGS or 866-468-7826; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Wild horses and burros can also be obtained by contacting an adoption facility; by placing a bid during a scheduled Internet adoption event; or by buying sale-eligible animals through the agency’s Sales Program. Potential adopters should download the adoption application from the BLM's Website (www.blm.gov) and review the rules and requirements relating to adoption. For a list of frequently asked questions, and for more information on how to adopt a wild horse or burro, visit the How to Adopt page or contact the BLM.
To promote healthy conditions on Western public rangelands, the BLM determines the appropriate management level--the number of wild horses and burros that can thrive on the range in balance with other public land resources and uses. Wild horses and burros that exceed this West-wide level--which is 26,715--are subject to removal from the range, in accordance with the 1971 law. The current estimated on-range wild horse and burro population, as of March 1, 2015, is 58,150, an 18 percent increase over the 2014 estimate of 49,209. That means the current West-wide on-range population exceeds the appropriate management level by 31,435.
For general information about the BLM's Wild Horse and Burro Program, please visit the agency’s Quick Facts and Myths and Facts pages at: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbprogram/history_and_facts/quick_facts.htmland http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbprogram/history_and_facts/myths_and_facts.html.
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 manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2014, the BLM generated $5.2 billion in receipts from public lands.