News Release

Trespass Livestock Operations

Two white horses walk on the opposite side of a fence in a green landscape
Horses walk along a wildlife fence

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News Release Date: October 8, 2021

Contact: Kristy Sholly

Mesa Verde National Park Begins Trespass Livestock Operations 


MESA VERDE, Colo. – Mesa Verde National Park has begun operations to relocate trespass livestock from the park, an effort the National Park Service developed with public input over several years. The Colorado Chapter of the National Mustang Association is assisting the park by providing volunteers, planning, and logistical support for these operations.   

The initial phase of the project began in late September with the capture of a single horse using low-stress, livestock handling techniques. Park managers will hold trespass livestock for up to 30 days, provide veterinarian care as needed, and will follow the methods prescribed by the American Veterinarian Medical Association. 

Mesa Verde National Park was established to preserve and protect architecture, objects, and landscapes associated with the Ancestral Pueblo people that occupied Mesa Verde and the Four Corners area. The presence of trespass livestock is inconsistent with the park’s mission to preserve the cultural and natural resources within the park. Additionally, Mesa Verde National Park does not have the legal authority to allow livestock use within the park under 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Subpart 2.60.    

Trespass livestock are unclaimed livestock that are generally domesticated or the offspring of domesticated livestock. More information on trespass livestock removal can be found on the park’s website at www.nps.gov/meve/learn/management/livestock-removal.htm   

For more information about Mesa Verde National Park, visit nps.gov/meve



Last updated: October 8, 2021

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Mesa Verde National Park , CO 81330

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970-529-4465

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