The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will meet June 28-30 in Reno, Nev.
The public may watch the Advisory Board’s meeting live at BLM.gov/live or attend in person at the Whitney Peak Hotel, 255 N Virginia St. in Reno.
For more information on the agenda, attending a board field trip and providing public comment, please see below.
At its last meeting, in October 2022, the Advisory Board called on the agencies to create measurable objectives and multi-year plans for the use of fertility control.
“Safe and humane fertility control treatments must be combined with every gather operation, whether or not (Appropriate Management Level, the BLM’s population target for each Herd Management Area) is immediately achieved,” the Advisory Board wrote. “This strategy will implement some measure of fertility control immediately and disrupt the cycle of repeat removals and long-term holding.”
The Advisory Board makes recommendations about wild horse and burro management to the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service but does not control BLM or USFS policy.
The board is made up of nine volunteers representing various interest groups including veterinarians, humane advocacy groups, wildlife associations and livestock organizations. RTF biologist Celeste Carlisle represents wild horse and burro advocacy.
Last October, the Advisory Board also addressed the controversial BLM Adoption Incentive Program, which provides $1,000 in cash for each adoption or a wild horse or burro.
Specifically, the board called on BLM to respond to the concerns and suggestions of stakeholder groups about the program.
RTF and other organizations have repeatedly raised concerns about the incentive program. RTF has provided BLM with evidence that wild horses and burros are being held for a year, then sold at auctions that kill buyers are known to frequent by the adopters after they receive title and their incentive payment.
A mediator conducted meetings with RTF and others about their continued concerns and suggested improvements to the program in May and June of 2022. The BLM has yet to respond.
The Advisory Board made the following additional recommendations about the adoption program: continuing to investigate vouchers to replace cash, including adopters’ experience with equines, their intent for adopting or purchasing a horse or burro (performance, trail, pet), requiring that adopters demonstrate their wild horse or burro has been gentled before receiving title after one year, and building partnerships with experience groups to provide post-adoption support, including a network of past adopters.
Other Advisory Board recommendations from the October 2022 meeting included: developing a well-publicized, easy-to-find online form through which the public can report potential animal welfare or adoption violations, increasing centralized control in order to increase better-coordinated plans, long-term budgeting, seeking dedicated funding for USFS wild horse management.
The Bureau of Land Management will hold an educational field trip for the board and interested members of the public from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on June 27.
The Advisory Board will visit the 2.3 million-acre Blue Wing Complex, which is made up of five Herd Management Areas and four Herd Areas not management for wild horses or burros.
Space for the field trip is limited. Those who wish to take part must register in advance no later than 5 p.m. Pacific on June 21 by contacting email@example.com.
Please note: Attendees must provide their own high-clearance vehicle as well as food and health and safety items needed for a full day in the field.
Members of the public may make a verbal statement to the Advisory Board in person or by Zoom from 3:15-4:15 p.m. Pacific on June 28, 1:30-2:30 p.m. on June 29 or 9:30-10:30 a.m. on June 20. In-person and virtual commenters must register with the BLM at least three days before the meeting.
Written comments can be submitted at firstname.lastname@example.org at least three days prior to the meeting.