RENO, Nev. (AP) — The head of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management says his agency has a billion-dollar problem.

Neil Kornze says the BLM is fighting an uphill battle to protect federal rangeland across the West while managing tens of thousands of wild horses and caring for tens of thousands more already rounded up in government corals. Kornze told The Associated Press the agency may not have done as good of job as it could have in recent years to underscore the environmental and budgetary crisis looming in its wild horse and burro program.

He estimates $1 billion will be needed to care for the 46,000 wild horses and burros currently in U.S. holding facilities over their lifetime, combined with future efforts to shrink the population of the record-67,000 now roaming public lands in 10 western states.

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