BLM Solicits Pasture Facility Bids

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking bids from landowners interested in providing new long-term holding pastures for BLM mustangs removed from the ranges.

The agency annually removes some animals from their ranges to control herd growth and maintain the integrity of rangelands. There are 38,500 wild horses and burros roaming BLM managed ranges in 10 Western states. Another 40,000 wild horses and burros are cared for in either short-term corrals or long-term pastures. Both groups are considered free-roaming animals under BLM's jurisdiction according to the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971. Some wild horse advocates oppose the gathers and long-term holding of animals on grounds that removing the animals from the range violates the Act and that roundups endanger the animals.

On July 5 the BLM announced it is soliciting bids for one or more new long-term pasture facilities to accommodate between 800 to 5,000 animals. Agency spokesperson Tom Gorey said the pastures may be located anywhere in the continental United States and be able to provide humane care for a one year period, with a renewal option under BLM contract for four one-year extensions.

"If any of these bids seem suitable, we'll go out, do a site visit, and analyze the site to make sure there's enough forage for the animals," Gorey said.

The solicitation is open until August 19 and is 100% set aside for small businesses under the North American Industry Classification System, Gorey said.

The BLM's bidding requirements are posted in solicitation L11PS00651, and all details regarding the solicitation are available at www.fedconnect.net.

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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