Bills Would Put States in Charge of Wild Horses, Burros

The legislation would place the herds under the jurisdiction of the states and Native American tribes that request it.

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A pair of proposed federal bills would remove some wild horse herds from Bureau of Land Management (BLM) management and place them under the jurisdiction of the states and Native American tribes that request it.

The Wild Free-Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act if 1971 federally protects wild horse and burro herds and places them under the BLM’s jurisdiction. The animals reside on Western public rangelands.

Last year, Representative Chris Stewart (R-UT) introduced the Wild Horse Management Act of 2014, which would have preserved all protections under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, but would have allowed states to implement horse and burro management plans that address their specific needs. The proposed legislation died in the 113th Congress.

On July 23, Stewart reintroduced the bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Wild Horse Oversight Act of 2015 would allow states to form cooperative agreements to manage herds that cross borders. Under the proposed legislation, the federal government would continue to inventory the horses and burros to ensure that the population numbers as prescribed by the 1971 act

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Written by:

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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