A Win for Colorado’s Wild Horses

Colorado’s wild horse herds receive support to better protect them via new legislation.

Recently, the Colorado General Assembly passed a bill called the Colorado Wild Horse Project (SB 23-275). It was then sent to Governor Polis for his signature.

The bill will provide funds for a humane and cost-effective alternative to cruel roundups. This is a significant step forward for long-term conservation of Colorado’s wild horses.

It will allocate $1.5M in state resources to support the work of existing local wild horse volunteer groups which focus on sustaining wild horse populations via safe, effective and humane fertility control along with habitat stewardship programs.

Also, a broad stakeholder working group will be created to offer recommendations for responsible placement options for captured and removed wild horses.

The Wild Horse Project stems from large public opposition to the last two years of government helicopter roundups in Colorado. These roundups removed 1,800 wild horses and led to the deaths of 149 of these innocent horses in overcrowded holding pens.

Colorado’s political leaders (with broad constituencies that include wild horse advocates, environmentalists, and ranching interests) joined up to find a solution.

Many thanks go to Governor Jared Polis, First Gentleman Marlon Reis, House Majority Leader Monica Duran, House Minority Leader Mike Lynch, Senator Joann Ginal, and Senator Perry Will, who worked on a bipartisan basis to protect and care for Colorado’s wild horse herds.

Testimony for the bill from Majority Leader Duran included her stating that:

“… In Colorado, we love our horses. They are central to our state’s history and culture…after the two helicopter roundups that occurred in our state, there was an outcry. And this bill is an answer to that outcry.”