Healthy Herds on Healthy Ranglands

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

    Who We Are

    Delegates from over 90 different organizations convened at the Free-Roaming Equids and Ecosystem Sustainability Summit, held May 29-31, 2019 in Reno, Nevada in search of common ground to achieve the goal of "healthy herds on healthy rangelands." FREES seeks to enhance communication and engage diverse stakeholder groups in meaningful dialogue as we work together. 

    Large group of people who attended Summit on May 31, 2019

    Why We Care

    As of March 1, 2019, the BLM estimated that there were 89,000 free-roam-ing 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. 


    Notice:  The BLM Report to Congress has been made public.  
    U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Report to Congress: An Analysis of Achieving a Sustainable Wild Horse and Burro Program
    May 8, 2020

    Report: Rodriguez, J. 2020. Message Frames and Wildlife Values Influence Public Acceptance of Wild Horse Management Strategies. Master’s Thesis, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. 43 pgs.

    Upcoming Events

    • Summit in Wyoming to be held October 6-8, 2020
    • Population Management Working Group next meeting July 21 at 12 PM Mountain Time
    • Rangeland Conditions and Habitat Working Group next meeting to be determined
    • Outreach and Communication Working Group meeting July 29 at 10 AM Mountain Time

    horse grazing at a water hole


     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.