Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board sets July, October meeting dates

/ Hearings, In The News, News
Chief and His Herd by Tony Stromberg

Photo of Chief’s band taken at RTF’s American Wild Horse Sanctuary by Tony Stromberg.

The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board has announced meetings July 9-11 in Boise, Idaho, and Oct. 29-31 in Washington, D.C.

The nine-member board typically meets twice per year to provide recommendations to the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service on the management of wild horses and burros from the perspective of different interest groups.

At the board’s last meeting, in October 2018, Celeste Carlisle of Return to Freedom and Ginger Kathrens of The Cloud Foundation were the only two board members to oppose a BLM plan to reach its population target for wild horses and burros within eight years by killing healthy animals and unlimited sales – including international sales and adoptions.

Three members have since completed their first three-year terms: Kathrens (humane advocacy), Steve Yardley (livestock management) and Ben Masters (wildlife management).

The Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of Agriculture select board members based on education, training or experience that would enable them to represent a particular interest group. No announcement has yet been made about who will fill the three open seats.

Viewing the meeting

The board’s upcoming meetings will be live-streamed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Time on July 10-11 and Oct. 30-31 at www.blm.gov/live. The BLM will host a site visit for the advisory board to a local wild horse herd management area on July 9.

Attending the meeting

The July meeting will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Boise, located at 348 S. 13th St. in Boise. The October meeting will be held at the Phoenix Park Hotel located at 520 North Capitol St., NW, and at 20 F Street Conference Center located at 20 F St., NW, Suite 1000, in Washington.

Public comment

The public may address the Advisory Board on July 11 and Oct. 31. Individuals who wish to comment should register in person with the BLM at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the public comment period 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 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. Those who would like to comment but are unable to attend may submit a written statement at least two weeks prior to the start of each meeting to: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, National Wild Horse and Burro Program, WO-260, Attention: Advisory Board, 20 M St. SE, Room 2134LM, Washington, D.C., 20003. Comments may also be e-mailed two weeks before the meeting to the BLM at whbadvisoryboard@blm.gov. Please include “Advisory Board Comment” in the subject line of the e-mail.

July meeting agenda

At outline of the July meeting can be found here (pdf).

Field trip

As part of the meeting, the BLM will host a tour of the Sands Basin Herd Management Area from 7:30 a.m.-noon on July 9. Public attendance is available on a first-come, first served basis. Attendees must provide their own transportation (high-clearance vehicles are recommended). To sign up, email dboothe@blm.gov by June 25.