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RBC I As part of its responsibility to manage and protect wild horses and burros, the Bureau of Land Management is soliciting bids for new long-term pasture facilities located in the continental United States that provide a free-roaming environment. The solicitation is for one or more pasture facilities accommodating 800 to 5,000 wild horses. Each pasture facility must be able to provide humane care for a one-year period, with a renewal option under BLM contract for four one-year extensions. The solicitation is open until Aug. 19, 2011, and is 100 percent set aside for small businesses under the North American Industry Classification System.The BLM’s bidding requirements are posted in solicitation L11PS00651, the details of which are available at http://www.fedconnect.net. To obtain the solicitation: (1) click on “Search Public Opportunities”; (2) under Search Criteria, select “Reference Number”; (3) put in the solicitation number (L11PS00651); and (4) click “Search” and the solicitation information will appear. The solicitation form describes what to submit and where to send it. Applicants must be registered at http://www.ccr.gov to be considered for a contract award.The BLM manages wild horses and burros as part of its overall multiple-use mission. Under the authority of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, the BLM manages and protects these living symbols of the Western spirit while ensuring that population levels are in balance with other public rangeland resources and uses. To make sure that healthy herds thrive on healthy rangelands, the BLM must remove thousands of animals from the range each year to control the size of herds, which have virtually no predators and can double in population every four years. The current free-roaming population of BLM-managed wild horses and burros is 38,500, which exceeds by nearly 12,000 the number determined by the BLM to be the appropriate management level. Off the range, there are nearly 40,000 wild horses and burros cared for in either short-term corrals or long-term pastures. All these animals, whether on or off the range, are protected by the BLM under the 1971 law.The BLM manages more land – more than 245 million acres – than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation.The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development and energy production and by conserving natural, historical, cultural and other resources on public lands.