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Natural Resources & Energy

Wild Horse Adoption In Rock Springs

Kamila Kudelska

On Friday, Jan. 17, 40 horses from the Fifteenmile Herd Management Area will be up for adoption in the state's first wild horse adoption of the year in Rock Springs.

Back in October, the Rock Springs Wild Horse Holding Facility received 493 horses from the herd management area just outside of Worland. Those horses were removed from the area because the Bureau of Land Management says there is not enough resources on the land to support the animals.

Nikki Maxwell, the BLM public affairs specialist for the High Desert District, said this year, all 40 horses are untrained and therefore qualify for the Adoptive Incentive Program.

"The program offers untrained horses for only $25 each to each adopter. The incentive for them is they receive a total of $1,000 per horse from the BLM once the titling process is completed, which usually takes about a year," she said.

Under the program, adopters usually receive $500 within 60 days of adoption and then the other half about a year after adoption when the titling process is complete. One individual can adopt up to four wild horses with the Adoptive Incentive Program.

The program, which started in March 2019, hopes to encourage more adopters to give wild horses and burros a good home. The BLM says it also helps reduce its recurring costs to care for the unadopted and untrained wild horses and burros. Maxwell said there has been great interest from the public into the program. In 2019, a total of 102 wild horses were adopted from Rock Springs.

"According to our information, that was an increase from previous years. And it not only included those who use the Adoption Incentive Program, but also some of our adopters are trainers. They do some training and preparation for the horses to be adopted out through other means," said Maxwell.

Those trainer adopters are usually non-profit organizations, volunteers and state and county prisons that partner with the BLM to train wild horses and burros. Trained horses have a higher rate of adoption.

There will be two other wild horse adoption events at Rock Springs: March 12-14 and April 24-25. Each event will have a selection of geldings, yearlings, mares and fillies from the Fifteenmile Herd Management Area. Wild horses that are not adopted stay at the facility.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Kamila Kudelska, at kkudelsk@uwyo.edu.

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