Wild Horses in the Spotlight

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Oklahoma pastures are home to a herd of wild horses managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
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Long-term holding pastures in Oklahoma are home to wild horse herds managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

The Bureau of
Land Management is hosting an all-day public tour of two wild horse long-term
holding pastures in Hominy, Oklahoma, about an
hour from Tulsa.
The tour, which will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Saturday, June 4,
will give the public an opportunity to observe wild horses roaming in a natural
setting across thousands of acres.

The public must
make reservations by May 20. Visitors will be shuttled to the pastures by the
BLM from Tulsa;
no personal vehicles will be allowed, as the pastures are on private
property.  Lunch may be purchased during
the tour for up to $10 per person. Attendees should wear casual clothes,
comfortable shoes, and rain attire if needed. Cameras and video cameras are
welcome.

To register,
call 866-468-7826. The pick-up location is Bureau of Land Management, Tulsa
District Office, 7906 E. 33rd St.,
Suite 101, Tulsa, OK 74145-1352.

The BLM
estimates that approximately 38,400 wild horses and burros are roaming on
BLM-managed rangelands in 10 Western states, based on the latest data
available. Wild horses and burros have virtually no natural predators and their
herd sizes can double about every four years. As a result, the agency must
remove thousands of animals from the range each year to control herd sizes.

Off the range,
there are 41,200 other wild horses and burros that are fed and cared for at 23
short-term corrals and 21 long-term pastures. As of April 2011, there are
approximately 12,600 wild horses and burros in short-term corrals and 28,600
wild horses in long-term holding pastures in the Midwest.
Animals gathered off the ranges are taken to short-term corrals to be examined
by a veterinarian, receive vaccinations and a freezemark, and prepared to enter
the BLM’s adoption program or be sent to long-term pastures generally if they
are over the age of 6. 

The long-term
holding contracted ranches range in size from 1,100 acres to 46,000 acres on
which the wild horses are free to roam. All wild horses and burros in holding,
like those roaming the public rangelands, are protected by the BLM under the
1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

For more
information about the tour or about the program, please call 866-468-7826.

The BLM manages
more land – over 245 million acres – than any other federal agency. This land,
known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12
Western states, including Alaska.
The bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million
acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s
multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public
lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The bureau
accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock
grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural,
historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.