- Associated Press - Sunday, October 30, 2016

RIVERTON, Wyo. (AP) - A recent federal court decision on Bureau of Land Management wild horse roundups could mean fewer horses available for adoption through the Wyoming Honor Farm in Riverton, an official said.

“In the short-term, we’re OK. But in the not-too-distant future, it could have some effect,” Scott Fluer, the BLM’s wild horse specialist in Lander, told The Ranger (http://bit.ly/2eiEYZu).

For years, the BLM has gathered horses on Wyoming’s checkerboard - a long stretch of land in southern part of the state that contains alternating plots of private and federal land established in conjunction with a historic train route.

But the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that BLM violated the 1971 law establishing federal protections of wild horses by treating the public sections of the checkerboard as private land during the roundups. Federal law only provides for the removal of horses from private land.

Supporters of the current system argued that it’s impossible to gather horses from just private land because most of the area involved has no fences to keep horses from going between private and public sections.

The BLM had removed 1,263 horses from that land in 2014 and had planned a removal of another 500 later this year.

Nationally, Fluer said, the BLM typically adopts out 2,600 horses a year annually. The 60 to 65 horses trained and adopted through the Wyoming Honor Farm are just a small percentage of that number, but includes about 25 to 30 percent of the totally number adopted in Wyoming.

The BLM has a reserve stock of horses available on hand from previous roundups that will end up in the Honor Farm adoption program.

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Information from: The (Riverton, Wyo.) Ranger, http://www.dailyranger.com

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