Montana Bill Would Regulate BLM Mustang Relocations

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) would be required to obtain a permit from Montana livestock authorities before importing wild horses into that state if legislation pending in the Montana state Senate becomes law.

Sponsored by State Senator Kendall Van Dyk, SB 402 would, if passed, require the Montana Department of Livestock to develop a management plan for any wild horses imported by the BLM into Montana. The bill would also establish a $100 fee for every BLM mustang or burro imported into the state

Van Dyk said the legislation directly responds to the BLM importing 700 wild horses and burros to a ranch near Ennis, Mont., from holding facilities in Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.

“Not everyone is happy about it (the relocation) because of water contamination and other issues,” Van Dyk said. “This bill is not intended to prevent the BLM from bringing horses into Montana, but to give the state some control over the BLM.”

Melodie Lloyd, chief of communications for BLM Montana, declined comment on the pending legislation.

Van Dyk said he expects the Montana State Senate’s Committee on Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation to pass the bill on April 2 and for the legislation to reach the full Senate the following week.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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