The Bureau of Land Management announced July 18 that it is seeking contractors to provide corral space for wild horses and burros gathered from public rangelands in the West. The BLM will award contracts to facilities in the states of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming that can accommodate 500 to 3,500 wild horses and burros in safe, humane conditions. Corrals will serve as short-term holding and preparation facilities for animals to be transferred to off-range pastures or adoption and sale locations farther east.
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, said a press release from the agency. 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, officials said. “They provide key support for BLM’s mission of maintaining healthy wild horse and burro herds on healthy rangelands,” according to a statement in the press release.
Depending on their condition, animals can only be humanely transported a certain distance in a single day (typically no more than 10 hours). Consequently, it is necessary to have a network of off-range corrals strategically located to allow for safe and humane shipment. For that reason, facilities must be within 10 hours drive time of regional herd management areas. Specifically, facilities in Colorado must be west of I-25, north of I-76 and no more than 25 miles south of Hwy 50. Facilities in Utah must be east of I-15 and north of I-70. In Wyoming, facilities must be south of Hwy 20 and 26. Facilities up to 35 miles outside these boundaries may also be considered.
“Facilities must also be staffed by personnel with knowledge, skill and ability to safely handle wild horses and burros, and be capable of providing appropriate veterinary care,” said a statement in the press release.
Bids will be accepted through Aug. 22.
Applicants who are new to conducting business with the government must first obtain a Dun and Bradstreet number at www.dnb.com and then register at www.sam.gov/ to respond to the solicitation. No fee is involved. The solicitation describes what to submit to the BLM and where to send it. To obtain the contract solicitation, follow these steps:
- Go to www.fedconnect.net
- Click on “Search Public Opportunities”
- Under Search Criteria, select “Reference Number”
- Enter the solicitation’s reference number: 140L0119R0004
- Click “Search” and once the solicitation information appears, download the information on the right.
As of March 1, 2019, the wild horse and burro population on public lands was estimated to be 88,090, which is more than triple the number of animals the land can sustainably support in balance with other wildlife and uses of the land, according to the agency. 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.