At a time when current off-range holding facilities are nearing capacity limits, the Bureau of Land Management is soliciting bids for new long-term pasture facilities that provide a free-roaming environment for wild horses. The BLM is also soliciting bids for multiple short-term facilities in various states that border or are east of the Mississippi River.
Under the authority of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, as amended, the BLM manages and protects wild horses and burros while working to ensure that population levels are in balance with other public rangeland resources and uses. The BLM removes animals from the range to control the size of herds, which have virtually no predators and can double in population every four years. The BLM plans to remove 2,400 animals from the range in Fiscal Year 2014, down from 4,176 in FY 2013. The BLM is also using population growth-suppression (PGS) measures, and is supporting research to improve existing and develop new PGS tools.
The current free-roaming population of BLM-managed wild horses and burros is estimated to be 49,209, as of March 1, 2014, which exceeds by more than 22,500 the number determined by the BLM to be the appropriate management level. Off the range, as of June 2014, there were more than 47,000 wild horses and burros cared for in either short-term corrals or long-term pastures. All these animals, whether on or off the range, are protected by the BLM under the 1971 law.
The solicitations involving long-term facilities are for one or more pasture facilities, each accommodating 100 to 5,000 wild horses. Each pasture facility must be able to provide humane care for a one-year period, with a renewal option under BLM contract for a four-year or nine-year period. The solicitations are open until August 28 and August 29, 2014.
The BLM’s bidding requirements are posted in solicitations L14PS00777 and L14PS00792, the details of which are available at http://www.fedconnect.net. To obtain the solicitation: (1) click on “Search Public Opportunities”; (2) under Search Criteria, select “Reference Number”; (3) put in the solicitation numbers (L14PS00777 and L14PS00792); and (4) click “Search” and the solicitation information will appear. The solicitation form describes what to submit and where to send it. Applicants must be registered athttp://www.sam.gov/ to be considered for a contract award.
The BLM is also soliciting bids for multiple short-term facilities accommodating a minimum of 150 wild horses and/or burros in a safe and humane condition. Each short-term facility, which must be close to and readily accessible from a major U.S. interstate or highway, must be able to provide humane care for a one-year period, with a renewal option under BLM contract for four one-year extensions. The animals will remain in a short-term holding facility until they are adopted or can be transported to a long-term pasture. The solicitation is open until August 29, 2014.
The states (which border or are east of the Mississippi River) under consideration for this short-term holding solicitation are: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
The BLM’s bidding requirements are posted in solicitation L14PS00793, the details of which are available at: http://www.fedconnect.net. To obtain the solicitation: (1) click on “Search Public Opportunities”; (2) under Search Criteria, select “Reference Number”; (3) put in the solicitation number (L14PS00793); and (4) click “Search” and the solicitation information will appear. The solicitation form describes what to submit and where to send it. Applicants must be registered at http://www.sam.gov/ to be considered for a contract award.
In its management of wild horses and burros under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, the BLM is implementing recommendations made by a June 2013 report of the National Academy of Sciences. For instance, the BLM is taking actions to increase the use of population growth-suppression measures on overpopulated herds roaming Western public rangelands and implementing methods developed by the U.S. Geological Survey for more accurate population estimates.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.