Mar 29, 2011 2:36 PM by Greg Boyce
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is seeking proposals to set up wild horse sanctuaries amid controversy over the agency's handling of these icons of the range.
The BLM said Tuesday it will provide up to $40 million over five years to establish wild horse sanctuaries. More than 38,000 wild horses roam Wyoming, Nevada, California and seven other Western states. The BLM rounds up about 10,000 horses a year to keep the herds in check and prevent overgrazing.
Ranchers support the roundups but animal rights groups call them inhumane. Meanwhile, the program's cost has tripled over a decade to $64 million a year.
The BLM announced in February it would scale back roundups after the U.S. House voted to cut BLM funding by $2 million to protest the roundups.