Healthy Herds on Healthy Ranglands

    FREES logo with horse head, mountain, water, and grassFree Roaming Equids and Ecosystem Sustainability Network (FREES)

    Who We Are


    horse grazing at a water holeDelegates from over 79 different organizations convened at the Free-Roaming Equids and Ecosystem Sustainability Summit, held October 6-8,2020, in Cody, Wyoming, in search of common ground to achieve the goal of "healthy herds on healthy rangelands." The theme of the 2020 Summit was “Connecting the Dots.” To address delegate needs, the Summit was a hybrid meeting  - consisting of both on on-site and virtual presence. Over the 3 days, speakers and participants both on-site and virtually shared their stories, new research, program updates, needs, and hopes.  

    2020 Free Roaming Equids and Ecosystem Sustainability Summit "Connecting the Dots"
    Recorded presentations from the Summit (link will open a new page)
    2020 FREES Summit "Connecting the Dots" Evaluation Report and Working Group Priorities for 2021

    U.S. Knowledge and Opinions of Free-Roaming Horses 2020 survey results now available.  There were over 3000 respondents from all regions of the U.S.  The survey team was headed by Dr. Nicki Frey and included specialists from 5 western states that study free-roaming horse biology, ecology, and management, rangeland ecology, and human-wildlife conflict management.

    FREES seeks to enhance communication and engage diverse stakeholder groups in meaningful dialogue as we work together. 


    Why We Care


    As of March 1, 2021, the BLM estimated that there were 86,189 free-roaming equids in BLM-administered HMAs. This is more than three times the ecological balance. Not every HMA is affected adversely, but where there is an overabundance of free-roaming equids, they impact the overall health of the U.S. western public rangelands by degrading ecosystem functions and reducing the forage and water available for domestic and native wildlife species. 


    Upcoming Events

    • Population Management Working Group next meeting:
    • Rangeland Conditions and Habitat Working Group next meeting:
    • Outreach and Communication Working Group next meeting:


    Berryman Institute logo showing coyote howling


    Utah State University Extension and the Affiliate Organizations who partner and collaborate with them in developing and providing programs to the public do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, veteran’s status or disability as required by Utah State University and the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as well as other nondiscrimination statutes, with respect to participation in the affiliate organizations and its programs/activities.