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Wyoming legislators want to encourage the BLM to keep up on wild horse management

Wild horses released on BLM land outside Rock Springs.
Caitlin Tan
Wyoming Public Radio
Nine mares return to BLM land after being treated with fertility control. They were part of the Red Desert BLM roundup that gathered more than 4,000 wild horses between last fall and January.

The Wyoming House of Representatives is considering a pair of bills that deal with the management of wild horses on state lands. The main bill is House Bill 5 which would ask the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to reimburse the state for the cost of grazing on state lands and the Wind River Reservation. The committee is also supporting House Bill 24which could give the state power to manage horses and burros.

The goal is to force the Bureau of Land Management to keep wild horse populations under control. Brett Moline of the Wyoming Farm Bureau said the legislation would show the state is serious. He said they could document the impacts wild horses are having on rangeland.

“By the way you gather data you can document against the potential problem you’re having on the winter range with some of the large game, the habitat for the Sage Grouse. I think getting these feral horses under control is paramount,” said Moline.

Lawmakers are also adding $2 million to assist the BLM with their management requirements. The bills will now go to the full House for further consideration.

Bob Beck retired from Wyoming Public Media after serving as News Director of Wyoming Public Radio for 34 years. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
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