Short Term Holding

BLM Short-Term Facilities  June 2013 (compilation and comments, Bonnie Kohleriter)

STATE                         FACILITY                                            CAPACITY                EST. NO. OF ANIMALS

Arizona                       Arizona State Prison at Florence    

Narrative:  This prison is developing a facility to house wild horses and burros.  It is not yet in operation.

Lichfield Holding facility CA

Lichfield Holding facility CA

California                     Litchfield in No. CA                              1000                             700


Narrative:  Litchfield has 19 large pens with no shelters.

Horse skull photographed at Litchfield during Twin Peaks of 2010) note: you would think whomever removed the carcass would have noticed they were missing something?

Horse skull photographed in pen at Litchfield during Twin Peaks of 2010) note: you would think whomever removed the carcass would have noticed they were missing something?

California                     Ridgecrest in So. CA                            1000                              600


Narrative:  Ridgecrest has 5 canopies over 5 of 17 pens. The canopies are on poles.  They are situated to provide continuous shade as the sun moves during the day.  The other pens have no shelter.  This is a desert facility.  Additional canopies and pens are being requested.

Colorado                      Canon City WH Inmate Program       3000                             2400


Narrative:  Canon City has 43 pens of different sizes and 15 shipping pens that hold 15. It has some mature trees. It planted fast growing trees 1 and 2 years ago with a goal to have shade in every pen.

Idaho                             Boise Wild Horse and Burro Facility    150                                  50

208-384-3454 or 208-830-4522

Narrative:  Boise has 6, one acre pens with no shelter. This facility may be expanded to be more cost effective. Steve Leonard, the facilities’ manager has a successful 4H Club training program wherein 100 horses have been trained and adopted.

Kansas                           Hutchinson Correctional Facility           499                             329

620-728-3296 or 620-662-2321

Narrative:   Hutchison has 10 pens, an arena, 2 corrals, 30 stables for horses in training, and no shelter.

Mississippi                   Piney Woods for SE Adoptions                 150                          100

601-715-9711 or 601-317-3815

Narrative:  Piney Woods is part of a cooperative with Piney Woods Boarding School where the horses are housed. It has pastures and pens with no shelter. The horses are constantly moved to adoption sites in 11 different states.

Nebraska                        Elm Creek WHB Center or Mid             499                          430

Continent WHB Center for Adoptions in NE & SE


Narrative: Elm Creek has 9 big pens of 5000 acres with no shelter but with wind breaks and 12 loading pens.

Strangles, ringworm and papiloma virus are regular visitors to Palomino Valley

Strangles, ringworm and papiloma virus are regular visitors to Palomino Valley

Nevada                        Palomino Valley  in No. NV                    1850                         1835


Narrative: Palomino has 10 large pens on the perimeter and 30-40 pens in the center of the facility of different sizes. The pens have no shelter. It is felt by a wrangler at the facility shelter is not important as the animals are not being worked during the middle part of the day.  Shelters could be a safety issue as the wranglers on horseback go into the pens to gather up horses and the sun kills the bacteria in the facilities.  Shelters with moisture retention beneath them could enhance the growth of bacteria such as the strangles bacteria.

Nevada                        Broken Arrow  in Fallon NV                     2500                        2400

Overflow from Palomino

No telephone number as BLM claims

It is a private facility

Narrative: 30-40 pens with no shelter with feedlot feeders. The public is denied access except for well-planned visits during ideal weather about twice a year.

The number of injured, ill or dying animals documented at Broken Arrow caused BLM to shut the doors due to an "image problem"

The number of injured, ill or dying animals documented at Broken Arrow caused BLM to shut the doors due to an “image problem”

Nevada                        Stewart Conservation Camp                                                     1400

Northern NV Correctional Center

775-887-9331  Hank Curry

Narrative: This correctional facility has 8 large pens 400 by 400 feet and 12 small pens. The 1400 horses are crowded into these pens with no shelter.  They are the overflow from Palomino Valley.  Of the 1400  approximately 60-100 yearly are picked to gentle, halter and saddle in 120 days in preparation for adoption. The question is how many are injured as prisoners try to settle these 75-100 horses.   The other horses are not seen in prison so have no chance of being taken to a good home. The lack of transparency for the wild horses and burros in prison and in privately contracted facilities is abhorrent defying our rights as citizens.


Oklahoma                  Paul’s Valley Staging Site for SW Adoptions   590                       400

405-794-9624 or 405-238-7138

Narrative:  Paul’s Valley  has some pens and 12 green pastures with ponds on 400 acres.. The USGS is conducting research on some of the animals at this facility.  You can drive the perimeter and through the middle of this facility to observe the horses. Cemetery Road cuts though the middle of the facility. Adoptions are the 2nd Tuesday of every month.


Click Image to see the last horses taken from Barren Valley and the Burns Corral

Oregon                       Wild Horse Corral Facility Burns District          600                       650

541-573-4400 or 541-573-2748 or 542-573-2749

Narrative: Burns has about 45 pens of varying sizes. It has no shelters.


Utah                            Delta Wild Horse and Burro Facility                  300                      260

801-419-9609 or 435-743-3100

Narrative: Delta has no shade.


The knee deep mud at Butterfield, now closed facility in Utah

Utah                             Axtell Utah Burro Facility                              500                      500

Narrative:  Axtell is a private contract, temporary holding facility for burros. Kerry Despain has a one year contract terminating in October, 2013.  Most of the burros are from Ridgecrest, California. The facility has irrigated pastures on 15-20 acres and corrals.


Utah                     Gunnison Central Utah Correctional Facility    1500                        1318

435-528-6063 or801-538-4057 or 435-896-1538

Narrative:  Gunnison has 10 pens or runs of different sizes, 10 sort pens, no shelter and rubber belting on some panels that serve as wind breaks.

Wyoming              Rock Springs Corrals                                             800                           671


Narrative:  Rock Springs has 19 pens some of which can act as pairs to open to give the horses more space to roam. It has no shelters but some plywood site boards that act as wind breaks.

BLM adoption at Correctional Facility

BLM adoption at Correctional Facility

Wyoming              Riverton Honey Farm Correctional Facility       375                          204


Narrative:  Riverton is a training facility for 2-3 year old geldings. It has 15-20 pens, 8 round pens, and a covered arena. It has no shelters.  Adoptions are in May and in August.

Wyoming               Mantle Wild Horse Training and Adoptions     100-150                 100-150


307-322-5799 Steve Mantle, owner


Wyoming  Mantle Wild Horse Training and
Narrative: Mantle has 8-20 horses in training
daily and adopts 75 yearly. They rotate in pens
and pastures supplemental fed in winter and in
drought. The lots have over 400′ of wind breaks
8′ high for protection from wind and snow in
winter and from the sun in summer. Mature trees
also provide shade in summer. Recently Nick
Mantle initiated an innovative kind of adoption…
adopting horses to ‘guest’ ranches  wherein Nick
trains the horses, adopts them to the guest ranch,
and then holds clinics for wranglers at the ranch
for continuing training and preparing the horses to
be ridden safely and reliably. This approach is
designed to integrate Mustangs into the guest ranch
riding programs.



This is a stock trailer taking horses into Gunnison prison. Right after this Laura Leigh had her truck searched, all bags searched. camera and cell phone taken before she could see horses.

Summary: The BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program has 19 short-term facilities plus a few with nominal numbers of animals like 0-20. Of the 19, five appear to be in prisons and four in privately contracted facilities.  The animals in these facilities are rarely seen decreasing their opportunity for possible adoption.  Transparency  is questionable and possibly a violation of the constitution.   Almost none of the facilities have shelter. Canon City is trying to develop shelter with the planting of fast growing trees.  Ridgecrest has 5 canopies, 2 with canvass tops and 3 with metal, and they appear to be safe for the horses and the wranglers.  These structures do not appear to impede the movement of the horses or the wranglers when they have to go into the pens. There’s been a concern for the safety of the horses and burros should shelters be constructed.  A construction engineer could design safe shelters such as in Ridgecrest should the BLM fund it. Given horses are now spending time up to three years and beyond in these supposed short-term facilities, it appears only humane to provide them with shelter particularly  in Nevada, Arizona, Mississippi and California when the heat is over 100 degrees.  Paul’s Valley in Oklahoma, Axtell in Utah, and Mantle in Wyoming have pastures where the horses and burros can stretch their muscles.  Nevada’s Correctional Facility, Stewart Camp, and Oregon’s Burns facility are of particular concern at this time as the animals are living in an overcrowded condition. While Nevada’s correctional facility provides a good training program for adoptable horses and a place for the overflow of animals from Palomino Valley, it should not be allowed to provide overcrowding because of its out of sight operation.