When we use the phrases “wild horses and burros” in advocacy we are actually using a legal definition.
Wild horses and burros are the only animals in our nation legally defined by the the land they stand, not what they are biologically.
Free roaming horses and burros that stand on BLM or USFS land are covered under the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act and carry the words “wild” in management documents. Other jurisdictions like National Parks Service, US Fish and Wildlife, states and tribal use the words “free roaming” or “feral.” The rules that govern these different jurisdictions vary widely; BLM and USFS must comply with the 1971 Act.
It gets a bit more complicated because BLM and USFS do not sit in the same department of the federal government. The BLM falls under the Department of Interior (DOI) and USFS falls under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
When we are talking “wild horse or burro” we are usually talking about the BLM. BLM manages more (wild) horses than all other jurisdictions combined.
Each state has a director and an office that houses the state leads for each program. Each state is divided into districts. District managers oversee field office activities.
The USDA looks like this.
We will update this page with more info soon.