The Bureau of Land Management is offering up to $1,000 in incentives for qualified people to adopt an untrained wild horse or burro.
The agency is hoping the program will encourage more people to adopt the animals.
BLM says there is a growing overpopulation of wild horses and burros on fragile public rangelands. In March 2018, their population was estimated at approximately 81,950 animals. BLM says that’s three times as many animals as the land can support.
Officials say overpopulation increases the risk of damage to rangeland by overgrazing and raises the chances of starvation and thirst for animals in overpopulated herds.
BLM also hopes to reduce the agency’s costs of caring for the animals. It reportedly costs taxpayers nearly $50 million every year.
Through the new incentive program, qualified adopters are eligible to receive $500 within 60 days of the adoption date and another $500 within 60 days of titling for each animal. A $25 adoption fee per animal is still required.
Prospective adopters can find a wild horse or burro on the BLM’s website, at a permanent facility, or an off-site adoption and sale event. For more information on the guidelines and requirements for adopting a wild horse or burro, call (866) 468-7826.
BLM manages and protects wild horses and burros under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The act directs the agency to address overpopulation by removing animals from overpopulated herds and offering them to the public.