BEND, Ore. (AP) — A horse training organization is looking for homes for 10 mustangs during a two-day adoption event that officials hope could be part of the solution to the overpopulation of wild horses in Oregon.
The Beaty Butte Wild Horse Training Facility in the southern Oregon town of Adel is seeking to connect ranchers with the trained horses this weekend, as well as create a framework to better manage the horse population, The Bulletin reported Thursday.
“If this idea works, it could change the way horses are managed in the West,” said Mary Bradbury, a board member for the nonprofit organization.
The Bureau of Land Management set the population management goal at between 100 and 250 wild horses for the Beaty Butte Herd Management Area, which covers 437,000 acres (176,851 hectares) about 65 miles (104 kilometers) east of Lakeview.
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The agency trapped and gathered about 1,200 wild horses in the area in 2015. Too many horses in the area can damage the environment and harm other species, bureau officials said.
Community groups and state and federal agencies began looking for new ways to better handle the growing wild horse population in 2015. The Adel facility was later created to take in and train young wild horses.
About six horses have been adopted. By first training the horses, the organization hopes they become more appealing to ranchers, said Julie Weikel, a board member for the organization.
“These horses have been selected because they’re especially sweet and good-looking,” Weikel said.
Depending on its success, the event could occur annually with a goal of about 20 to 30 horses adopted each year, said Todd Forbes, a bureau field manager for the Lakeview district.
Information from: The Bulletin, http://www.bendbulletin.com