Colville Tribes offer wild horses for adoption
Monday, July 9, 2012
NESPELEM — About 1,000 wild horses that are damaging rangeland on Colville Indian Reservation will be rounded up and given up for adoption over the next few years.
Officials from the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation say they plan to remove between 200 and 400 horses every year until about 200 are left. A herd can increase by 25 percent a year, officials said.
The wild horses — some of them abandoned by their owners who could no longer afford to care for them — are now overgrazing parts of the 1.4 million acre reservation, a news release from the tribes said.
“We want to get down to a more manageable number and maintain a healthy herd of the highest quality for use by the tribal membership,” said Robert Compton, range management specialist for the Colville tribes.
Compton said the horses have caused significant damage to certain areas they occupy, where overgrazing has led to the spread of weeds, compacted soil and erosion problems. The horses also compete with wild game species for forage.
Anyone interested in adopting a horse can call the tribe’s range department at 509-634-2308.
K.C. Mehaffey: 997-2512
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