As part of its responsibility to manage and protect wild horses and burros, the Bureau of Land Management is soliciting bids for new long-term pasture facilities – located in the continental United States west of the Mississippi River – that provide a free-roaming environment.
The solicitation is for one or more pasture facilities accommodating 800 to 2,000 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 five- to 10-year period. The BLM may require having one or two public and/or media tours hosted by agency staff and the contractor during the life of the contract. The solicitation is open until August 1, 2012, and is 100 percent set aside for small businesses under the North American Industry Classification System.
The BLM’s bidding requirements are posted in solicitation L12PS00589, 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 (L12PS00589); 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.ccr.gov to be considered for a contract award.
The BLM manages wild horses and burros as part of its overall multiple-use mission. Under the authority of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, the BLM manages and protects these special animals – declared by Congress to be “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West” – while ensuring that population levels are in balance with other public rangeland resources and uses.
To make sure that healthy herds thrive on healthy rangelands, the BLM must remove thousands of animals from the range each year to control the size of herds, which have virtually no predators and can double in population every four years. The current free-roaming population of BLM-managed wild horses and burros is estimated to be 37,300, which exceeds by nearly 11,000 the number determined by the BLM to be the appropriate management level.
Off the range, as of June 2012, there are more than 45,000 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.