Return to Freedom regularly participates in a broad array of professional scientific meetings and conferences. Recently, RTF participated in a session at The Wildlife Society 2022 Conference in Spokane, Wash.
RTF appreciated the invitation to participate as a presenter in this conference so that we can continue building momentum and support for effective fertility control use at levels that can move us towards the most sustainable, in-the-wild management of wild horses and burros.
Our session, “Fertility Control to Mitigate Conflicts and Manage Wild Horse and Burro Populations on Public Lands in the U.S.,” was facilitated by Stephanie Boyles Griffin of The Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control and Doug Eckery of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Wildlife Services National Wildlife Research Center.
RTF Biologist Celeste Carlisle set the stage, covering the history of policies that shape how and why wild horses and burros are managed on public lands.
After that, the session delved into great detail regarding public knowledge and attitudes about wild horses and burros on public lands; how we can more meaningfully engage stakeholders; what real and perceived limitations agencies face; concerns for the high desert and sagebrush steppe ecosystems wild horses and burros reside upon; and fertility control methodologies that may offer minimally intrusive alternatives for managing wild horses and burros on fragile Western landscapes.
All of these topics come together to shape the management of wild horses and burros on public lands, which is why RTF works diligently to engage with all stakeholders, including those with different opinions than our own.