OAKDALE — Do you consider yourself a horse whisperer? Or a burro whisperer?
If so, you might want to be in Oakdale in mid-May for the latest adoption event for wild horses and burros from federal land.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management plans to have up to 40 animals available to people who agree to pay the fee and provide proper care.
The basic fee is $125, but it can rise if prospective owners bid it up at the adoption event.
Adopters also must meet BLM standards for shelter, feed, transportation and other parts of horse and burro care. The agency has advice on training the animals for work, leisure and showing.
The horses and burros are culled from time to time to prevent overgrazing on their ranges, including parts of northeastern and southeastern California.
The horses are mainly descendants of animals brought to the West by Spanish settlers, ranchers and the U.S. calvary. The burros descend mainly from those used by miners.
The herds in and near California roam on about 7.1 million acres of BLM land and 2.3 million acres of other land. The agency's current limits are 1,746 horses and 453 burros.
Nationwide, the BLM has placed more than 230,000 horses and burros into private care since 1971. In recent years, it has drawn complaints about how the animals are handled, an issue it addresses in detail on its website.
HOW TO ATTEND
WHEN: Preview of horses and burros, 3 to 5 p.m. May 17; adoptions from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 18-19
WHERE: Oakdale Saddle Club, 1624 E. F St.
MORE INFORMATION: (800) 545-4256 or www.blm.gov