Pasture contracts sought for wild horse adoptions

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

The Bureau of Land Management is seeking additional Oklahoma pastures for its Wild Horse Adoption Program.

An April 29 deadline has been established for the submission of proposals by prospective contractors. Participants must provide humane care in a free-roaming pasture setting for a minimum of 200 wild horses.

BLM officials said the program gives landowners an opportunity to diversify their ranching operations.

Pasture lands in 17 states are eligible for wild horse adoptions. In addition to Oklahoma, those states are: Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming and parts of Oregon and Washington.(excluding west of the Cascade Mountain Range).

Each proposal must include documentation to support the land’s carrying capacity and the contractor’s required per head/day cost. In addition to offering a quality pasture, the contractor is required to provide supplemental feed during the dormant months. The contracts are for a one-year period, with a renewal option for a four-year or nine-year period.

The 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (amended) authorizes the BLM to manage and protect wild horses and wild burros while working to ensure that population levels are in balance with other public rangeland resources and uses, federal officials stated. The current free-roaming population of BLM-managed wild horses and burros is estimated to be 58,150, as of March 1, 2015, which exceeds by more than 31,435 the number determined by the BLM to be the appropriate management level.

Applicants who have never conducted business with the federal government must first obtain a Dun and Bradstreet number at www.dnb.com before registering at www.sam.gov/. There is no fee involved in registering with sam.gov.

More information can be found on the Bureau’s resouce page at www.blm.gov/whb. For assistance in the application process, contact Kemi Ismael (phone 202-912-7098 or email at kismael@blm.gov) or Michael Byrd (202-912-7037, mbyrd@blm.gov). BLM small business specialists are available. Also, the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) website provides assistance on government contracts.

For general questions about the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program, please contact 866-468-7826 or wildhorse@blm.gov.