News

National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board to meet in Salt Lake City

October 9-11 meeting will be livestreamed at www.blm.gov/live

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will meet October 9-11, 2018, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to discuss the pressing challenges of wild horse and burro management.  This includes the backlog of unadopted and unsold animals in BLM facilities and the adverse effects overpopulation is having on public lands.  The meeting will be live-streamed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Time on Wednesday and Thursday, at http://www.blm.gov/live.  The BLM will also host a field trip for the Advisory Board to one of the local wild horse herd management areas on Tuesday, October 9.

“The Advisory Board is comprised of stakeholders who bring diverse backgrounds, experiences, and expertise to the table as they take on some of the difficult issues facing the program,” said BLM Deputy Director Brian Steed.  “I look forward to hearing their ideas and recommendations for finding a path to long-term sustainable populations on the range through humane management practices.”

As of May 22, 2018, the BLM estimated public rangelands were home to nearly 82,000 wild horses and burros in 10 Western states – the largest population estimate since the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was passed – and more than three times the number the habitat can sustainably support in conjunction with other authorized land uses.  At the same time, the BLM continues to care for approximately 45,000 unadopted and unsold excess animals in its off-range corrals and pastures, costing taxpayers $50 million annually – nearly two-thirds of the Wild Horse and Burro Program annual budget.

The agenda of the upcoming meeting can be found in the September 5, 2018, Federal Register at https://go.usa.gov/xPcdQ. The final meeting agenda will be posted on the BLM website at BLM.gov/WHB prior to the meeting. The meeting will be held at the Courtyard Marriott Salt Lake City Downtown located at 345 West 100 South, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84101.  The hotel’s website address is https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/slccd-courtyard-salt-lake-city-downtown/; the phone number is (385) 290-6500.

The public may address the Advisory Board on Thursday, October 11 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Mountain Time.  Individuals who want to make a comment should register in person with the BLM prior to 1:45 p.m. local time, on that same day at the meeting site.  Depending on the number of speakers, the Board may limit the length of comments, which has been set at about three minutes per person during previous meetings.

Speakers should submit a written copy of their comment to the BLM at the addresses below or bring a copy to the meeting.  There will be a webcam present during the entire meeting and individual comments will be recorded.  Those who would like to comment but are unable to attend may submit a written statement by October 2 to: U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management, National Wild Horse and Burro Program, WO-260, Attention: Advisory Board, 20 M St. SE, Room 2134, Washington, D.C., 20003.  Comments may also be e-mailed by October 2 to the BLM atwhbadvisoryboard@blm.gov.  Please include “Advisory Board Comment” in the subject line of the e-mail.

The Advisory Board is comprised of individuals representing a diverse range of stakeholders and interests. The Board provides advice and recommendations to the BLM as it carries out its responsibilities under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.  The law mandates the protection and management of these free-roaming animals in a manner that ensures healthy herds at levels consistent with the land’s capacity to sustainably support them as part of BLM’s multiple-use mission. Because wild horses and burros have no predators capable of naturally controlling population growth, if left unmanaged herds can grow quickly and overcome their habitat’s ability to support them.

For additional information regarding the meeting or to register to attend the October 9 HMA tour, please contact Dorothea Boothe, Acting Wild Horse and Burro Program Coordinator, at (202) 912-7654 or at dboothe@blm.gov.  Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may reach Ms. Boothe during normal business hours by calling the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.

Courtesy: Jenny Lesieutre, Wild Horse and Burro Public Affairs Specialist, Bureau of Land Management, Nevada State Office