(a) For purposes of this section:
(i) “Affected nonfederal lands” means state, municipal or county lands upon which the landowner has proof that wild horses have regularly grazed;
(ii) “Appropriate management level” or “AML” means the number of wild horses that the United States bureau of land management or United States forest service determines can exist in balance with other public land resources and uses. The AML is a range of low to maximum levels at which wild horse herd populations are consistent with the land's capacity to support them;
(iii) “Herd management area” means lands under the supervision of the United States bureau of land management or United States forest service upon which populations of wild horses are managed according to the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, as amended, 16 U.S.C. § 1331 et seq.;
(iv) “Wild horse” means any unbranded and unclaimed horse or burro on public lands.
(b) Any person, without legal justification, who willfully and maliciously kills a wild horse is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), imprisonment for not more than six (6), months or both.
(c) Upon the failure or refusal, as determined by the governor, of the United States bureau of land management or United States forest service to remove any wild horses claimed by the United States bureau of land management or United States forest service as belonging to a herd management area, which regularly stray from federal lands, the office of state lands and investments shall provide the United States secretary of the interior or United States secretary of agriculture, as applicable, with annual notice identifying the grazing cost for those wild horses and a request for reimbursement of those costs. To facilitate calculation of costs under this subsection the office of state lands and investments shall:
(i) Determine the total area of the herd management area plus adjacent affected nonfederal lands, and determine the percentage of the total area consisting of affected nonfederal lands;
(ii) Using annual wild horse data from the bureau of land management or forest service, as applicable, calculate the annual animal unit month amount of forage consumed by the wild horses in the applicable area;
(iii) Multiply the forage consumed as calculated under paragraph (ii) of this subsection by the percentage of affected nonfederal lands determined under paragraph (i) of this subsection and apply the rate for services rendered for each acre of affected nonfederal lands:
(A) For wild horse numbers up to the high appropriate management levels, an amount equal to the land lease rate per animal unit month for Wyoming trust land grazing leases;
(B) For wild horse numbers in excess of the high appropriate management levels, an amount equal to three (3) times the land lease rate per animal unit month for Wyoming trust land grazing leases.
(d) Any reimbursement monies received from a federal land management agency in response to a notice of costs of wild horse grazing on affected nonfederal lands and request for reimbursement sent pursuant to subsection (c) of this section shall be deposited with the state treasurer and shall first be credited to the municipality or county in the proportionate share applicable in the notice of costs to municipal or county lands included in the total area of affected nonfederal lands pursuant to paragraph (c)(i) of this section and then the balance shall be deposited in the applicable permanent land income fund. A notice of costs sent pursuant to subsection (c) of this section shall not be construed to impose any collections responsibility or liability on the part of the state to a municipality or county.
(e) The attorney general may seek a writ of mandamus or take other appropriate action to compel the United States bureau of land management or United States forest service, as applicable, to take action to remove excess wild horses as required under federal law from nonfederal lands. Recognizing that wild horses roam without regard to political boundaries, the nonfederal lands for which a writ of mandamus is sought under this subsection may include private land.
(f) To manage wild horses in the state, including on the Wind River Indian Reservation, the governor is authorized to enter into cooperative agreements among state and local agencies and with the United States bureau of land management, the United States forest service, the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, the Northern Arapaho Tribe, an official cooperative tribal governing body, adjacent states, nongovernmental organizations or other private entities. A cooperative agreement under this subsection may provide for any cooperative undertaking to manage wild horses, including population reduction tactics, permanent and temporary fertility control techniques, expanding or increasing the number of wild horse training and adoption programs and other removal activities. Cooperative agreements shall address the long term management of wild horse populations that are in excess of high appropriate management levels. Any revenue generated as a result of general fund expenditures shall be remitted to the state as allowed by law. As used in this subsection:
(i) “Cooperative undertaking” includes an existing program, or a program created pursuant to this subsection, administered by a state agency or any party to the cooperative agreement;
(ii) “Wild horse training and adoption programs” includes programs with any state correctional facility under W.S. 25-13-104.
Laws 2001, ch. 167, § 1, eff. July 1, 2001; Laws 2022, ch. 97, § 1, eff. March 17, 2022.