What's in a name?
The BLM refers to them as "wild" just as wild horse activists do.
What is a wild horse or burro?
A wild free-roaming horse or burro as defined by federal law is an unbranded, unclaimed, free-roaming horse or burro found on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or U.S. Forest Service (USFS) administered public rangelands in the western United States. Wild horses and burros are descendants of animals released by or escaped from Spanish explorers, ranchers, miners, U.S. Cavalry, or Native Americans.
Yet the US Forest Service has come up with their own definition.
US Forest Service definition per their Q & A that they emailed out to those of us who have written to them:
"Wild horse" is a legal status provided to unmarked and unclaimed horses and their progeny that were considered wild and free roaming on public lands at the time of passage of the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act (WHBA)of 1971 (see 36 CFR222.60 (b)(13)). Wild horses are managed to achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance in wild horse territories established under the Act. Any horse introduced onto the Forest on or after December 15, 1971 by accident, negligence or willful disregard of private ownership is NOT a wild horse. Such horses are defined as unauthorized livestock. (see 36 CFR262.10) Unauthorized livestock do not have the status of a wild horse under the Act. However, animals in this category are protected by state laws as stray livestock.
It makes you say, "Hmmmmm."