BLM seeks bids for wild horse pasture facilities
As part of its responsibility to manage, protect, and control wild horses and burros, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), is soliciting bids for several new long-term (pasture) facilities located in the continental U.S. One solicitation is for pasture facilities holding 200 to 1,000 wild horses; the other is for facilities holding 1,000 to 5,000 wild horses. Both solicitations, which are open for 60 days, are for dry mares, mares in foal, and geldings. Each pasture facility must be able to provide humane care for a one-year period, with a renewal option under BLM contract for four oneyear extensions.
BLM’s bidding requirements are posted in solicitations L09PS00366 (200 to 1,000 horses) and L09PS00367 (1,000 to 5,000 horses), the details of which are available at www.fedconnect.net. To obtain the solicitations: (1) click on “Search Public Opportunities;” (2) under Search Criteria, click “Reference Number;” (3) type in solicitation number (either L09PS00366 or L09PS00367); (4) click “Search” and the solicitation information will appear. The solicitation form tells the inquirer what to submit and where to send it. Applicants must be registered at www.ccr.gov to be considered for a contract award. Proposals must be submitted by July 6, 2009. BLM manages wild horses and burros as part of its overall multiple-use land management mission. Under the authority of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, the bureau manages and protects these living symbols of the west ern spirit while ensuring that population levels are in balance with other public rangeland resources and uses. To achieve this balance, BLM must remove thousands of animals from the range each year to control the size of herds, which have virtually no predators and can double in population every four years.
The current freeroaming population of BLM-managed wild horses and burros is more than 36,000, which exceeds by some 9,400 the number determined by BLM to be the appropriate management level. Off the range, there are nearly 32,000 wild horses and burros cared for in either short-term (corral) or long-term (pasture) facilities. All animals in holding are protected by BLM under the 1971 law. After wild horses and burros are removed from the range, the bureau works to place younger animals into private care through adoption. Since 1971, BLM has placed more than 220,000 horses and burros into such care through the adoption process in which the adopter may gain the title of ownership after providing one year of humane care. Under a December 2004 amendment to the 1971 wild horse law, animals over 10 years old, as well as those passed over for adoption at least three times, are eligible for sale, a transaction in which the title of ownership passes immediately from the federal government to a buyer committed to long-term care. Since that amendment took effect, BLM has sold more than 3,300 horses and burros. — WLJ