The BLM is soliciting bids for long term holding facilities from private individuals *Ranchers.
The conditions are listed on the BLM site and require careful review:
The contract time is 5 years but with one year test period after which the contract is prolonged.
The minimum amount of horses is 500
The miminum requirements are fencing, forage, feed and water. The request is for minimum management.
The bidder has to prove that he/she can provide safe environment, feed forage, water (no shelter) and care for at least 500 horses. The number that comes to mind is between $1.25 and $1.70 per horse per day, which adds up to $225 000.- (or $306 000.-) per year before expenses. For a comparison (even though it limps) the ELM CREEK facility houses approx.500-600 horses and has an annual budget of $800 000.- with a hay bill of .... The Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary has approx. 600 horses and an annual operating budget of approx. $...? Both places employ approx 4 full time employees.... So how can a private operator feed, fence, water and care for 500 horses with a budget of 300 000 dollars. And at what expense. Also to be considered: If the 50 000 horses in Holding by the end of 2011, are distributed at a rate of 500 each, there will be 100 private and discrete pasture/lot/locations in the states of KANSAS and OKLAHOMA that are not open to the public, not monitored by a third independent party...IMAGINE