The federal Bureau of Land Management says it is selling wild horses to American Indian tribes for the first time.
The BLM has sold 141 horses to the Rosebud Sioux in South Dakota and 120 horses to the Three Affiliated Tribes in North Dakota. More sales are planned in the next several weeks, bringing the total to more than 500 horses.
The sale is under legislation recently passed by Congress that directs the BLM to sell wild horses and burros that are older than 10 years or have been unsuccessfully offered for adoption at least three times, director Kathleen Clarke said.
“We look forward to completing more sales with tribes and all others interested in providing long-term care for the wild horses,” she said.
The BLM said there are 37,000 wild horses and burros roaming the public lands it manages in 10 Western states – about 9,000 more than the rangeland can sustain.