BROOMFIELD, Colo. — In 2023 the Colorado legislature passed Senate Bill 23-275(opens in new window) to provide resources and support efforts to ensure the long-term sustainability of Colorado’s wild horse herds and rangelands. This new program will be led by the Animal Health Division and managed by CDA’s Agriculture and Wildlife Programs Manager, Wayne East. The webpage (https://ag.colorado.gov/animals/colorado-wild-horse-management-support) has information about how the Colorado Department of Agriculture is implementing the bill and will be updated as the work progresses.
Colorado is home to four federally owned and protected wild horse herds generally found within federal herd management areas administered by the Bureau of Land Management in accordance with the federal “Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.” Federal budgets have not kept pace with the needs of these wild horse herds, and this underfunding has negative effects on the wild horses, Colorado’s vital agricultural industry, rangeland conditions, wildlife, and more. Colorado has the opportunity to serve the diverse interests of livestock owners, wildlife, and range health by supporting humane wild horse management, stabilizing herd numbers, and ending the unsustainable cycle of population growth followed by the removal of wild horses from the range.
The Wild Horse Working Group was created by statute to make recommendations on humane, non-lethal alternatives for wild horses that are taken off range in Colorado or held in federal holding facilities.
See Senate Bill 23-275(opens in new window) for information on the various positions on the Working Group and their appointing authority. Appointments to the Working Group required by statute are not made by CDA. CDA plans to contract with a meeting facilitator to facilitate meetings and draft recommendations on behalf of the working group.
Governor Polis appointed the following members of the Wild Horse Working Group:
- Nicole Rosmarino of Hasty, Colorado, to serve as a representative of the Office of the Governor;
- Les Owen of Broomfield, Colorado, to serve as a representative of the Colorado Department of Agriculture;
- Timothy Brass of Longmont, Colorado, to serve as a representative of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources;
- Andrew Grossman of Denver, Colorado, to serve as a representative of the Colorado Tourism Office.
The Wild Horse Working Group meetings will be held in person across Colorado and will be open to the public. With questions, please contact CDA_wildhorseprogram@state.co.us.
Thursday, October 19, 1 pm – 5 pm
Friday, October 20, 8 am – noon
815 Cooper Ave 2nd floor
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
Monday, November 13, 1 pm – 5 pm
Tuesday, November 14, 8 am – noon
Colorado Department of Agriculture
305 Interlocken Parkway
Broomfield, CO 80021
- Growing partnerships and networks to support wild horse management;
- Providing state-level coordination and support for the existing work of local non-profit groups in delivering immunocontraceptives through darting; and
- Installing and maintaining infrastructure needed to support the well-being of rangelands and wild horses.
— Colorado Department of Agriculture