A legal settlement between ranchers and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management would reduce wild horse numbers in southwest Wyoming by half or more.
Under the deal, the BLM would allow no more than 1,050 wild horses in the Rock Springs area, down from the current maximum of 2,065.
U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal in Cheyenne approved the settlement Wednesday. Under the settlement, horse roundups would begin later this year and continue through 2015.
The settlement stems from a lawsuit filed in 2011 by the Rock Springs Grazing Association.
The association says the BLM allowed wild horse numbers to reach at least 4,700, almost three times the maximum number the BLM previously had agreed to allow.
Ranchers say wild horses damage the range and compete with cattle for forage.