36 CFR § 222.62 - Ownership claims.

§ 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.