BLM PRESS RELEASE:
BLM to Postpone National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah. – The Bureau of Land Management today announced that it was postponing its National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting scheduled for March 27-28 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The meeting was delayed when one of its members threatened to sue the BLM because it did not provide 30 days’ notice of the meeting.
The dispute arose when the BLM gave 15 days’ public notice, as required by the Federal Advisory Committee Act and – when “urgent matters arise” – BLM regulations. For non-urgent matters, BLM regulations require 30 days’ public notice. In this case, the terms of three board members are expiring on March 31, and without them, the board would not have the quorum necessary in order to provide recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior.
A meeting for the board will be set when its new members are seated.
The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board was established pursuant to the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and is regulated by the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (Act, which governs the establishment and operation of advisory committees and by BLM advisory committee regulations. The Act and the BLM regulations recognize the merits of seeking the advice and assistance of our nation’s citizens to the executive branch of government.
BLM will be seating new board members before any further meetings.
Instead of writing to the Board at this time, contact Congress. Congress will be setting the framework for wild horse budget provisions that can, literally, kill.
The BLM WHB Advisory Board has no legal authority. The BLM is mandated to have one but is under no obligation to abide by any “recommendations.”
We are expecting a final budget bill to be passed in the next two weeks that may kill tens of thousand wild horses.
Read HERE and take action.
Call YOUR representatives, understand where they stand on the issues important to YOU and then… remember in November at midterm elections.
Edit: We have received a few questions asking what the word “quorum” means. Usually any board (including nonprofit orgs) have an odd number of seats. A quorum is a way of saying “majority vote,” or “voting process that does not end in a tie.”
This “board” is literally a footnote to our work. With wild horse and burro “issues” there are multiple layers and subtleties. We have said many times we are a “wild” focused organization with a data/planning/legal specialty. From our perspective this board, as it stands, is not a priority of ours, in any way.
The board is even just a footnote to our latest article.
On multiple issues we have disagreed with many mainstream advocate organizations. One of those early disagreements was about bringing litigation over inhumane treatment. “You can not win,” they said. WHE did. It creates a fall-out that we can not describe to you from “our own side.”
Over the last few years we have become increasingly frustrated with the old paradigm “the horses cost too much.” We believe that focal point in advocacy is not appropriate and feel a comparative view, where horses cost very little, is in order. We have tried to turn that focus the last few years. This is one of our current disagreements on messaging. When you call your representative you might find this interesting. https://wildhorseeducation.org/2018/03/15/tax-payer-burden/
Another area we disagree is the use of the phrase “public/private partnerships.” BLM needs no new mechanisms to create areas where the public can assist. The creation of BLM’s non-profit last year (yes, BLM can now take donations for projects and we had that legislation as an action item) and the increase in the phrase “private partnerships,” to us simply represents opportunity for states, counties and ranching to gain a foothold that allows counties to fund removals and wild horse “management” to become a new ranching subsidy. Using the phrase “increase volunteerism” is much safer (unless you are looking for your own subsidy?) and we have been saying that since 2015. Volunteering or creating a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), a frame for cooperative conduct, is all that is needed and it has existed for years. (Telling someone like Lisa Murkowski, R-AK, that you want an increase in private partnerships, and she agrees, it is not in the best interest of wild horses.)
We also believe that the “fast track to three strikes” is a tragedy that no one talks about. In BLM press releases in fall of 2016 it was noted that BLM had 60,000 wild horses in holding facilities. In 2017 the quotes were around 40,000 after more removals. “Sale” events are taking place. Where are those horses? (If you do not know the difference between adoption and sale read HERE.) This is something the above mentioned “board” voted unanimously to do. BLM can “blame the board that has no legal authority” for actions. It’s a circus.
There was a large meeting of orgs back in April of 2017. Some day we will tell you all how that turned out.
Our disagreements are not arbitrary, they are insights gained through experience and we have listed only three of dozens of areas we, vehemently, disagree with conduct on “our side.” Many of those experiences you would find hard to believe, we did, but they are very real and very destructive. We have “paid dues” you could not imagine and have earned the space to disagree.
Today? Please just call, FAX, email, your representative and say “no federal funds used to kill a healthy wild horse.” Thank you.
Categories: Wild Horse Education