Free Roaming Equids and Ecosystem Sustainability Network
Who We Are
The Free Roaming Equids and Ecosystem Sustainability Network (FREES) is a group of diverse organizations working for a common goal of “healthy herds of free-roaming equids (wild horse and burros) on healthy rangelands.” FREES seeks to enhance communication and engage diverse stakeholder groups in meaningful dialogue as they work to achieve equid and ecosystem sustainability. The FREES Network Endowment (Endowment) has been established in the Quinney College of Natural Resources (QCNR) at Utah State University (USU) with gifts from donors.
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 herd management areas (HMAs). This is considered to be three times more equids than the habitat can support. 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 themselves, domestic livestock, and native wildlife species.
The Free Roaming Equid and Ecosystem Sustainability network will host two free public webinars on March 1 and April 5, 2023 to demonstrate PopEquus and answer questions about the model. The webinars will feature scientists from the USGS and BLM who helped develop the tool.
By Lael Gilbert |
2020 Free Roaming Equids and Ecosystem Sustainability Summit "Connecting the Dots"
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. View the survey results.
Utah State University
5230 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-5230