Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Let Em Know

The National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board wants to know what you think about the Wild Horse & Burro Program and is accepting written public comments and input through October 31, 2007.

Okay, not really but they are legally required to pretend.

Since the Boards main function is to provide input to the Secretary of the Interior regarding the management of wild horses and burros on public lands, they really don’t give a hoot what the public thinks or suggests and the Board members are usually an appointed group of special interests that aren’t too interested in thriving free roaming wild horse and burro populations that cut into their piece of the American pie.

In fact, the Board all cheered when BLM announced that the national wild horse and burro population had finally been reduced to the “National AML” at their meeting held in Las Vegas, Nevada in December of 2006.

No one bothered to ask how many of those AMLs established viable herds, how many herds showed an AML that no longer had any wild horse or burro populations left in the Herd Management Areas, or if this national AML was truly a “thriving ecological balance” for the wild horses and burros.

While you may have a great deal you wish to express on your own, here are some suggestions and recommendations that have been presented to the Board that you may also want to add to your “Wish List” of what a properly managed National Wild Horse & Burro Program would look like.

1. Request that your comments and others be included in their entirety when the Meeting Minutes are posted.

The Board has received a great deal of public input, comments and suggestions over the years that gets filed in what equates to the garbage can. They are not required to address or respond to the public, there is no accountability of what they have been asked to address, research or recommend and the public has no idea what is being brought to their attention and subsequently ignored.

Publishing the comments in full would at least give an accounting of how long it takes them to find solutions to the problems brought to their attention and let others know what the public is griping about or recommending.

2. Increase the number of positions that are actually involved in Wild Horse & Burro Advocacy.

Currently, only one position is provided that is filled by a wild horse and burro advocate. Other Boards such as Agriculture and Wildlife have several positions that represent the focus of the Boards “objectives” – in this instance, it is the protection and preservation of wild horses and burros, and the National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board should accurately reflect this.

There is enough livestock and big game interests manipulating BLM on every level of their management that adding a few more advocates won’t impact their influence significantly but might actually give the wild horses and burros a shot at being “preserved for future generations”.

3. Publish the names of all those that apply for positions on the Board.

Often times, the same person is appointed over and over again (or as long as they are allowed) and no one has any idea if a much better qualified individual was passed over in favor of cronyism.

Publishing who BLM denies to Board positions or appoints instead would go a long way in increasing the “sunshine” in the Wild Horse & Burro Program as these Board Members have a lot of influence on what is happening to our wild horses and burros and their habitat.

4. Ask for independent studies and research about the physical effects on wild horses and burros being driven by helicopters during the round ups. Also ask what the limits are on distances, temperatures and environmental factors such as steep terrain or heavy snow and ice.

The National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Meeting will be held
in Portland, Oregon on November 5, 2007.

Written public comments will be accepted until
October 31, 2007.
Include "Comments to the National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board" in your correspondence.

-Send to-
Bureau of Land Management
National Wild Horse & Burro Program WO-260
Attention: Ramona DeLorme
134 Financial Boulevard
Reno, Nevada 89502-7147
Phone: (775) 861-6583
Fax: (775) 861-6711
Email: Ramona_DeLorme@blm.gov

Photo taken from BLM Internet Adoption Website

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