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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of September 30, 2014

Title 36Chapter IIPart 222 → Subpart D


Title 36: Parks, Forests, and Public Property
PART 222—RANGE MANAGEMENT


Subpart D—Management of Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros


Contents
§222.60   Authority and definitions.
§222.61   Administration of wild free-roaming horses and burros and their environment.
§222.62   Ownership claims.
§222.63   Removal of other horses and burros.
§222.64   Use of helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft and motor vehicles.
§222.65   Protection of wild free-roaming horses and burros when they are upon other than the National Forest System or public lands.
§222.66   Removal of wild free-roaming horses and burros from private lands.
§222.67   Maintenance of wild free-roaming horses and burros on privately-owned lands.
§222.68   Agreements.
§222.69   Relocation and disposal of animals.
§222.70   Disposal of carcasses.
§222.71   Loss of status.
§222.72   Use of non-Forest Service personnel.
§222.73   Management coordination.
§222.74   National Advisory Board.
§222.75   Studies.
§222.76   Arrest.

Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1011; 16 U.S.C. 551, 1331-1340; 43 U.S.C. 1901 note.

Source: 45 FR 24135, Apr. 9, 1980, redesignated at 78 FR 33723, June 5, 2013, unless otherwise noted.

§222.60   Authority and definitions.

(a) Authority. The Chief, Forest Service, shall protect, manage, and control wild free-roaming horses and burros on lands of the National Forest System and shall maintain vigilance for the welfare of wild free-roaming horses and burros that wander or migrate from the National Forest System. If these animals also use lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management as a part of their habitat, the Chief, Forest Service, shall cooperate to the fullest extent with the Department of the Interior through the Bureau of Land Management in administering the animals.

(b) Definitions.

(1) Act means the Act of December 15, 1971 (85 Stat. 649, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 1331-1340).

(2) Captured animal means a wild free-roaming horse or burro taken and held in the custody of an authorized officer, his delegate, or agent. This term does not apply to an animal after it is placed in private custody through a Private Maintenance and Care agreement.

(3) Excess animals means wild free-roaming horses and burros which have been removed by authorized personnel pursuant to applicable law or which must be removed from an area in order to preserve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance in coordination with other resources and activities.

(4) Herd means one or more stallions and their mares, or jacks and their jennies.

(5) Humane treatment means kind and merciful treatment, without causing unnecessary stress or suffering to the animal.

(6) Inhumane treatment means causing physical stress to an animal through any harmful action or omission that is not compatible with standard animal husbandry practices; causing or allowing an animal to suffer from a lack of necessary food, water, or shelter; using any equipment, apparatus, or technique during transportation, domestication, or handling that causes undue injury to an animal; or failing to treat or care for a sick or injured animal.

(7) Lame means a wild free-roaming horse or burro with malfunctioning muscles, ligaments or limbs that impair freedom of movement.

(8) Malicious harassment means any intentional act demonstrating deliberate disregard for the well-being of wild free-roaming horses and burros and which creates a likelihood of injury or is detrimental to normal behavior pattern of wild free-roaming horses or burros including feeding, watering, resting, and breeding. Such acts include, but are not limited to, unauthorized chasing, pursuing, herding, roping, or attempting to gather wild free-roaming horses or burros. It does not apply to activities conducted by or on behalf of the Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management in implementation or performance of duties and responsibilities under the Act.

(9) National Advisory Board means the Advisory Board as established jointly by the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior under the provisions of the Act.

(10) National Forest System includes the National Forests, National Grasslands, and other Federal lands for which the Forest Service has administrative jurisdiction.

(11) Old means a wild free-roaming horse or burro characterized by inability to fend for itself because of age, physical deterioration, suffering or closeness to death.

(12) Sick means a wild free-roaming horse or burro with failing health, infirmness, or disease from which there is little chance of recovery.

(13) Wild free-roaming horses and burros mean all unbranded and unclaimed horses and burros and their progeny that have used lands of the National Forest System on or after December 15, 1971, or do hereafter use these lands as all or part of their habitat, but does not include any horse or burro introduced onto the National Forest System on or after December 15, 1971, by accident, negligence, or willful disregard of private ownership. Unbranded, claimed horses and burros for which the claim is found to be erroneous, are also considered as wild and free-roaming if they meet the criteria above.

(14) Wild-horse and burro range means an area of National Forest System specifically so designated by the Chief, Forest Service, from wild horse and burro territory, for the purpose of sustaining an existing herd or herds of wild free-roaming horses and burros, provided the range does not exceed known territorial limits and is devoted principally, but not necessarily exclusively, to the welfare of the wild horses and burros, in keeping with the multiple-use management concept for the National Forest System.

(15) Wild horse and burro territory means lands of the National Forest System which are identified by the Chief, Forest Service, as lands which were territorial habitat of wild free-roaming horses and/or burros at the time of the passage of the Act.

§222.61   Administration of wild free-roaming horses and burros and their environment.

(a) The Chief, Forest Service, shall:

(1) Administer wild free-roaming horses and burros and their progeny on the National Forest System in the areas where they now occur (wild horse and burro territory) to maintain a thriving ecological balance considering them an integral component of the multiple use resources, and regulating their population and accompanying need for forage and habitat in correlation with uses recognized under the Multiple-Use Sustained Yield Act of 1960 (70 Stat. 215; 16 U.S.C. 528-531);

(2) Provide direct administration for the welfare of wild free-roaming horses and burros that are located on the National Forest System by use of the Forest Service organization rather than by the granting of leases and permits for maintenance of these animals to individuals and organizations;

(3) Establish wild horse and burro territories in accordance with the Act and continue recognition of such territories where it is determined that horses and/or burros will be recognized as part of the natural system, and designate areas within these territories as a specific wild horse and burro range in those situations where he determines such designation as especially fitting to meet the purposes of the Act and the Multiple Use Sustained-Yield Act, after consultation with the appropriate State agencies where such range is proposed and with the National Advisory Board;

(4) Analyze each wild horse or burro territory and, based on the analysis, develop and implement a management plan, which analysis and plans will be updated, whenever needed, as determined by conditions on each territory;

(5) Maintain a current inventory of wild free-roaming horses and burros on each territory to determine whether and where excess animals exists;

(6) Based on paragraphs (a) (4) and (5) of this section, determine appropriate management levels, whether action should be taken to remove excess animals and what actions are appropriate to achieve the removal or destruction of excess animals; and

(7) In making determinations cited in this section, the authorized officer shall consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, wildlife agencies in the State, individuals and organizations independent of Federal or State Government recommended by the National Academy of Sciences, and any other individual or organizations determined to have scientific expertise or special knowledge of wild horse and burro protection, wildlife management and animal husbandry as related to range management.

§222.62   Ownership claims.

(a) Any person claiming ownership under State branding and estray laws of branded or unbranded horses or burros within a wild horse or burro territory or range on the National Forest System where such animals are not authorized must present evidence of ownership to justify a roundup before permission will be granted to gather such animals. Claims of ownership with supporting evidence were required to be filed during a claiming period which expired November 15, 1973. Unauthorized privately owned horses or burros entering the National Forest System after November 15, 1973, which become intermingled with wild horses or burros, may be claimed by filing an application with the District Ranger. All authorizations to gather claimed animals shall be in writing in accordance with instructions as the Chief, Forest Service, may prescribe. After such public notice as an authorized officer deems appropriate to inform interested parties, gathering operations may be authorized. The authorization shall provide that the gathering or roundup be consistent with regulations, and will (1) establish a specific reasonable period of time to allow the gathering of claimed animals and (2) stipulate other conditions, including visual observation by Forest Service personnel deemed necessary to ensure humane treatment of associated wild free-roaming horses and burros and to protect other resources involved.

(b) Prior to removal of claimed animals which have been captured from the National Forest System, claimants shall substantiate their claim of ownership in accordance with whatever criteria are cooperatively agreed to between the Forest Service and the State agency administering the State estray laws. In the absence of an agreement, ownership claims shall be substantiated in accordance with State law and subject to approval of the Forest Service.

§222.63   Removal of other horses and burros.

Horses and burros not within the definition in §222.20(b)(13) which are introduced onto Wild Horse and Burro Territories or ranges after December 15, 1971, by accident, negligence, or willful disregard of private ownership, and which do not become intermingled with wild free-roaming horses or burros shall be considered as unauthorized livestock and treated in accordance with provisions in 36 CFR 261.7 and 262.10.

[61 FR 35959, July 9, 1996]

§222.64   Use of helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft and motor vehicles.

The Chief, Forest Service, is authorized to use helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft, and motor vehicles in a manner that will ensure humane treatment of wild free-roaming horses and burros as provided by the following paragraphs:

(a) Prior to using helicopters in capture operations and/or using motor vehicles for the purpose of transporting captured animals, a public meeting will be held in the proximity of the territory where the capture operation is proposed.

(b) Helicopters may be used in all phases of the administration of the Act including, but not limited to, inventory, observation, surveillance, and capture operations. In capture operations, helicopters may be used to locate the animals involved to assist ground crews in moving the animals and for related purposes, such as, to transport personnel and equipment. The condition of the animals shall be continuously observed by the authorized officer and, should signs of harmful stress be noted, the source of stress shall be removed so as to allow recovery. Helicopters may be used in round-ups or other capture operations subject to the following procedures.

(1) Helicopters shall be used in such a manner that bands or herds will tend to remain together.

(2) Horses or burros will not be moved at a rate which exceeds limitations set by the authorized officer who shall consider terrain, weather, distance to be traveled, and condition of the animals.

(3) Helicopters shall be used to observe the presence of dangerous areas and may be used to move animals away from hazards during capture operations.

(4) During capture operations, animals shall be moved in such a way as to prevent harmful stress or injury.

(5) The authorized officer shall supervise all helicopter uses as follows:

(i) Have means to communicate with the pilot and be able to direct the use of the helicopter; and

(ii) Be able to observe effects of the use of the helicopters on the well-being of the animals.

(c) Fixed-wing aircraft may be used for inventory, observation, and surveillance purposes necessary in administering the Act. Such use shall be consistent with the Act of September 8, 1959, as amended (18 U.S.C. 41 et seq.). Fixed-wing aircraft shall not be used in connection with capture operations except as support vehicles.

(d) Motor vehicles may be used in the administration of the Act except that such vehicles shall not be used for driving or chasing wild horses or burros in capture operations. Motor vehicles may also be used for the purpose of transporting captured animals subject to the following humane procedures.

(1) Such transportation shall comply with appropriate State and Federal laws and regulations applicable to humane transportation of horses and burros.

(2) Vehicles shall be inspected by an authorized officer prior to use to ensure vehicles are in good repair and of adequate rate capacity.

(3) Vehicles shall be carefully operated to ensure that captured animals are transported without undue risk or injury.

(4) Where necessary and practical, animals shall be sorted as to age, temperament, sex, size, and condition so as to limit, to the extent possible, injury due to fighting and trampling.

(5) The authorizing officer shall consider the condition of the animals, weather conditions, type of vehicle, and distance to be traveled when planning for transportation of captured animals.

(6) Unless otherwise approved by the authorized officer, the transportation of wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be limited in sequence, to a maximum of 24 hours in transit followed by a minimum of 5 hours of on-the-ground rest with adequate feed and water.

§222.65   Protection of wild free-roaming horses and burros when they are upon other than the National Forest System or public lands.

Individual animals and herds of wild free-roaming horses and burros will be under the protection of the Chief, Forest Service, even though they may thereafter move to lands of other ownership or jurisdiction as a part of their annual territorial habitat pattern or for other reasons. The Chief will exercise surveillance of these animals through the use of cooperative agreements and as otherwise authorized by law and act immediately through appropriate administrative or criminal and civil judicial procedures to provide them the protective measures of the Act at any time he has cause to believe its provisions are being violated.

§222.66   Removal of wild free-roaming horses and burros from private lands.

Owners of land upon which wild free-roaming horses and burros have strayed from the National Forest System may request their removal by calling the nearest office of either the Forest Service or Federal Marshall.

§222.67   Maintenance of wild free-roaming horses and burros on privately-owned lands.

Owners of land who wish to maintain wild free-roaming horses and burros which have strayed onto their lands from the National Forest System may do so by notifying the nearest office of the Forest Service in a timely fashion and providing such information on a continuing basis as the Chief, Forest Service, may require. Such owners shall protect the wild free-roaming horses and burros on their lands. They may not, in so maintaining these animals, impede their return to National Forest System lands unless authorized by agreement with the Forest Service.

§222.68   Agreements.

The Chief, Forest Service, may enter into agreements as he deems necessary to further the protection, management, and control of wild free-roaming horses and burros.

§222.69   Relocation and disposal of animals.

(a) The Chief, Forest Service, shall, when he determines over-population of wild horses and burros exists and removal is required, take immediate necessary action to remove excess animals from that particular territory. Such action shall be taken until all excess animals have been removed so as to restore a thriving natural ecological balance to the range, and protect the range from deterioration associated with over-population.

(b) No person except an authorized Forest Service officer or his agent shall destroy, remove, or relocate any wild free-roaming horse or burro located on the National Forest System.

(c) Wild horses and burros shall be relocated or removed in the following order of priority:

(1) In the most humane manner possible, sick, lame, or old animals shall be destroyed;

(2) Relocate animals to other National Forest System lands which were identified as 1971 wild horse or burro territory, providing suitable habitat exists and relocation of animals will not jeopardize vegetation condition;

(3) Relocate animals to other federally-owned lands which were identified as 1971 wild horse or burro occupied lands, providing suitable habitat exists and relocation of animals will not jeopardize vegetation condition and animals are requested by the appropriate land manager having jurisdiction;

(4) Place animals under private maintenance and care agreements where there is an adoption demand by qualified individuals, groups, or Government agency, and for which there is assurance of humane treatment and care, provided not more than four animals are placed under private maintenance and care agreements per year to any individual, organization, or government agency unless there is a determination expressed otherwise in writing, by an authorized Forest Service Officer; and

(5) Excess animals, for which an adoption demand by qualified applicants does not exist, shall be destroyed in the most humane manner possible, and if several methods are equally humane, select the most cost efficient.

(d) Where excess animals have been placed under private maintenance and care agreements after December 15, 1971, as provided for in paragraph (c)(4) of this section, and animals have been provided humane conditions, treatment, and care, for a period of one year, the Chief, Forest Service, may grant title to not more than four animals per year to each individual, organization, or government agency.

(e) The applicants must make written application for title and/or adoption, must be of legal age in the State in which they reside, and must pay fees for adoption and transportation as follows:

(1) The application must be accompanied by a nonrefundable advance payment of $25 by guaranteed remittance. If custody of a wild, free-roaming horse or burro is granted by the authorized Forest Service officer, the advance payment shall be applied against the adoption fee required to be paid at the time the maintenance and care agreement §222.29(c)(4) is executed.

(2) The Forest Service shall charge an adoption fee of $125 for each horse and $75 for each burro, except that there shall be no adoption fee for an unweaned offspring under 6 months of age accompanying its mother.

(3) Any transportation costs incurred for the transportation of the animal(s) to the point of pickup must be paid before an approved individual, group, or government agency takes custody of the animal(s).

(f) Humane conditions, treatment, and care must have been provided for no less that one year preceding the filing of the application for title. The conveyance of title shall include a written statement by an authorized officer attesting that the animal is in good condition.

[45 FR 24135, Apr. 9, 1980, as amended at 46 FR 42450, Aug. 21, 1981; 48 FR 25188, June 6, 1983]

§222.70   Disposal of carcasses.

Carcasses of animals that have lost their status as wild free-roaming horses or burros may be disposed of in any customary manner acceptable under applicable State sanitary statutes including disposal through a rendering plant.

§222.71   Loss of status.

Wild free-roaming horses and burros or their remains shall lose their status under the 1971 Wild Horses and Burros Act.

(a) Upon passage of title pursuant to §222.29 (d) and (e).

(b) Upon transfer to private maintenance and care pursuant to §222.29(c)(4) and die of natural causes before passage of title;

(c) Upon destruction by an authorized Forest officer pursuant to §222.29(c)(5).

(d) Upon death by natural causes or accident on the National Forest System or on private lands where maintained thereon pursuant to §222.27 and disposal is authorized by a Forest officer; and

(e) Upon destruction or death for purposes of or incident to the program authorized in §222.20(a).

§222.72   Use of non-Forest Service personnel.

The Chief, Forest Service, may authorize the use of non-Forest Service personnel to assist in specific situations of short duration.

§222.73   Management coordination.

All management activities by the Chief, Forest Service, shall be carried out in consultation with the appropriate agencies of the State involved. The expert advice of qualified scientists in the fields of biology and ecology shall also be sought in administering wild free-roaming horses and burros. The advice and suggestions of agencies, qualified scientists, and other qualified interest groups shall be made available to the National Advisory Board for their use and consideration. Actions taken in connection with private ownership claims shall be coordinated to the fullest extent possible with the State agency responsible for livestock estray law administration.

§222.74   National Advisory Board.

The Chief, Forest Service, shall appoint a representative to attend meetings of the National Advisory Board for Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros and to function as prescribed by the Memorandum of Agreement between the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture and the Joint Charter issued by the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture. Policies and guidelines relative to proposals for the establishment of ranges, adjustments in number, relocation and disposal of animals, and other matters relating generally to the protection, management, and control of wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be presented to the National Advisory Board for recommendations.

§222.75   Studies.

The Chief, Forest Service, is authorized and directed to undertake those studies of the habits and habitat of wild free-roaming horses and burros that he may deem necessary. In doing so, he shall consult with the appropriate agencies of the State(s) involved and the National Academy of Sciences.

§222.76   Arrest.

Any employee designated by the Chief, Forest Service, shall have the power to arrest without warrant, any person committing in the presence of the employee a violation of the Act and to take such person immediately for examination or trial before an officer or court of competent jurisdiction. Any employee so designated shall have power to execute any warrant or other process issued by an officer or court of competent jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of the Act.



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