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Bureau of Land Management Seeks to Gauge Interest in Holding Wild Horses and Burros in the East

In support of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) mission to sustainably manage wild horses and burros, the agency posted a Request for Information (RFI) today seeking potential sources in the Eastern United States with the interest and ability to provide corral space for excess animals. Depending on the level of interest shown, the agency plans to follow up with a formal solicitation seeking bids for multiple off-range corrals which can hold between 200-500 wild horses and burros.
     These off-range corrals will serve as holding facilities for wild horses and burros removed from public rangelands in the West as part of the BLM’s mission to sustainably manage herds under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and other relevant legislation. Importantly, the facilities will support the agency’s wild horse and burro adoption and sales program by serving as regional shipping and receiving points. Since wild horses and burros can only be humanely transported a certain distance in a single day (typically no more than 10 hours), it is necessary to have a network of off-range corrals strategically located to allow for safe and humane shipment.
     Facilities will be considered in the 30 states bordering and east of the Mississippi River, including: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
     To respond to this RFI: (1) Go to www.beta.sam.gov; (2) Scroll down under Contract Opportunities (FBO) and click “Search Contract Opportunities”; (3) Enter the solicitation number (140L0620R0053) in the “Keywords” field and hit Enter. The RFI will be open through August 31, 2020. The BLM removes animals from the range to control the size of herds, which double in population every four years because wild horses and burros have virtually no predators that can naturally control population growth. These rapidly growing populations and the stress they place on the landscape requires the BLM to remove more animals from the range than the agency can immediately place into private care. Off-range care facilities provide needed capacity to hold these excess animals, while providing veterinary care and preparing them for adoption. They provide key support for the BLM’s mission of maintaining healthy wild horse and burro herds on healthy rangelands.
     For assistance, please contact David Slade, 303-236-4079, dslade@blm.gov. A list of frequently asked questions is available at https:// www.blm.gov/sites/blm. gov/files/wildhorse_OffR- angeCorralFAQ_3.10.2020.pdf.
     As of March 1, 2020, the wild horse and burro population on public lands was estimated to be about 95,000, which is more than triple the number of animals the land can sustainably support in balance with other wildlife and uses of the land. The BLM is legally required to maintain healthy wild horse and burro herds on healthy rangelands as part of its multiple-use mission.
     To learn more about the Wild Horse and Burro Program, visit www.blm.gov/whb.
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