The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is crediting federal budget sequestration as one factor in its decision to reduce hours at the agency’s Palomino Valley National Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Center (PVC) near Reno, Nev.
Sequestration is a legal mechanism created by federal law to establish a hard spending cap for the U.S. government. If Congress enacts funding legislation that exceeds that limit, sequestration allows for program cuts across all government agencies. Most recently those spending cuts became effective on March 1.
BLM spokeswoman Heather Emmons-Jasinski said that the PVC is the largest BLM adoption facility in the country and also serves as the BLM’s primary adoption preparation center for mustangs and burros gathered from public ranges in Nevada and other states nearby. Previously the center has been open to the public Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon. Beginning April 6, the center will only be open to the public on the first Saturday of every month from 8 a.m. to noon. The facility will remain open to the public during weekdays, Emmons-Jasinski said.
Emmons-Jasinski said that along with the budget sequestration and other economic factor, a low mustang and burro adoption rate also contributed to the decision to reduce the center’s weekend hours. About 3,000 wild horses and burro adoptions currently take place annually, Emmons said. By contrast, 7,700 adoptions took place in 2003. Meanwhile, 10 animals were adopted onsite at the PVC since Oct. 1, 2012, and very few of those adoptions took place on Saturday, Emmons-Jasinski said.
“The decision to close PVC t