BLM set to remove fewer horses from ranges

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Updated: 7/15/2014 11:51 pm
RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- 2,400 animals will be removed from western ranges from now through the end of September.

It costs the BLM $49,000 to feed an unadopted animal through its lifetime. Up to 2,500 BLM animals have been adopted nationally in the past year and Deputy Division Chief Zachary Reichold said the numbers are down from 7,000-9,000 animal adoptions in the past.

"It was before we started seeing people affected by the last ten years of financial insecurity and uncertainty," said Reichold.

With current low adoption numbers, overcrowded holding pens across the nation are also a problem. Reichold said space needs to be reserved at holding facilities to bring in wild horses and burros in need of help.

The Palomino Valley center currently holds almost 1,000 animals, and the maximum occupancy is 1,800. "If Wyoming or if Oregon finds themselves in the need of removing horses due to wild fire, drought or any other unforeseen circumstances than we need to be able to accommodate them," said Reichold.

The BLM has at least one Nevada helicopter-assisted gather of wild horses and burros planned for this year.
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