RENO, Nev. - U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials say they plan to remove only 1,300 wild horses and burros from the range across the West this summer because of budget constraints and overflowing holding pens.
Overall, they intend to remove about 4,800 of the animals from the range this fiscal year ending Sept. 30 compared with 8,255 the previous fiscal year.
They made the announcement on Friday, about a month after 30 U.S. representatives urged new U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to make a priority out of reforming the government's wild horse management program and its spiraling budget.
The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign criticized the BLM's plans, saying the captured animals will be added to government-funded holding facilities that are already at capacity with 50,000 wild horses and burros at taxpayer expense.
Most of the BLM's summer roundups will be conducted in Nevada, home to roughly half of the estimated 37,000 free-roaming wild horses and burros in the West.
Roundups also are scheduled in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico and Oregon.