NESPELEM – The Colville Confederated Tribes have released rules related to a reward of $350 per head for feral horses captured and removed from reservation rangelands.

“The Colville Tribes, in an effort to control feral horse populations in areas deemed to be overstocked, is offering a reward to individuals who capture feral horses,” states the rules. “Reward money will be paid to those that qualify, on a first come, first serve basis, while budgeted funds for fiscal year 2020 is available.”

The program is open to Colville Tribal members. 

To qualify, the rules note:

Individuals must possess a current wild horse capture permit and comply with permit rules; individuals must register with the Colville Tribal Range Program before chasing horses to specify the specific areas where they will work; and upon capture, they must hold horses until the horses are inspected by Range staff.

According to the rules, Range staff will inspect horses for brands and remove any horses with brands or other marks of ownership in order to process the horses through the trespass process.

“If appropriate the Range Program will pursue livestock trespass charges through the court system,” reads the rules. “If at some point ownership of these horses is transferred to the Range Program, the Range Program will find a suitable location for these horses.” 

Range staff will issue a moving permit following the inspection.

The rules further state, “Prior to the payment of any reward the Natural Resource Director will require a bill of sale documenting the horses were removed from the reservation, and the department will conduct an inspection of the area where horse capture took place to determine if there has been any damage to fences and that the person engaged in capture has removed any materials utilized in the capture process. If capture is to be ongoing in this area then site inspection may be postponed until activities are finished. In this case a portion of the reward payment will be held by the Range Program for horses captured and will not be released until the site is inspected and approved. The amount that will be withheld is 25 percent per gathering until the site is inspected and approved.”

Payments are made through the tribes’ Accounts Payable process, where completed documentation submitted to the Natural Resource Director by Thursday will have a check mailed to the address on the permit the following Wednesday.

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