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

§ 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.