WH&B Advisory Board meets in Salt Lake

I would like to begin this section with a preface that declares this piece as an “editorial” where my opinion will expressed freely in conversational language.


Editorial: “The Advisory Board and the spectacle of the public meeting”

This is what BLM says the Advisory Board does:

“The Advisory Board provides input and advice to the BLM as it carries out its responsibilities under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The law mandates the protection, management, and control of these free-roaming animals in a manner that ensures healthy herds at levels consistent with the land’s capacity to support them.  According to the BLM’s latest official estimate, approximately 37,300 wild horses and burros roam on BLM-managed rangelands in 10 Western states.”



Recent appointments of pro-slaughter board members have shaken public confidence. In light of the recent findings of journalist Dave Philipps in a ProBulica piece that clearly demonstrates that the BLM is selling horses to known kill buyers the response from the board on this issue is one the public  anticipates will be minimized.


This summer Boyd Spratling, acting chair of the Advisory Board and member of the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDoA), addressed the state agriculture board. He asked that they state support his recommendation to the Secretary of the Interior to reduce all wild horse herds in the state to the lowest possible numbers. Boyd’s request came on the heels of livestock restrictions due to drought conditions. Yet Boyd, the chair of the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board, made this request with no site specific information to back up his assertions.


At the last Advisory Board meeting held in Reno this year BLM National, Dean Bolstad, stated in his report to the board that a policy for humane handling would be in place by July 1. To date no policy has been adopted.


The public may address the Advisory Board on Monday, October 29, at 3:30 p.m., local time.  Individuals who want to make a statement at the Monday meeting should register with the BLM by 2 p.m. at the meeting site.  Yet be aware that the Board limits the length of presentations, to three minutes (may be as low as two minutes) to present your comments.


Comments may also be e-mailed to the BLM at wildhorse@blm.gov