Wild Horse Education

New Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Members Announced

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced three appointments today for its National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. (FULL BLM PRESS RELEASE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE) Italics represent links

The board is appointed by the Secretary of Interior and has the following (stated) objective: The Board will assist and advise the Secretary of the Interior, through the Director of BLM, and the Secretary of Agriculture, through the Chief of the Forest Service (FS), on wild horse and burro policy formulation and oversight of the Wild Horse and Burro Program (Program) administered under the provisions of the Act.

The three members confirmed to the board  fill in the vacancies on the nine member panel:

Dr. Ursula Bechert (cofounder of SpayVac for Wildlife, click for company profile) was appointed to the research position. For those of you that do not know what SpayVac is, it is a form of a PZP vaccine that can create permanent sterilization. The public has been led to believe that “PZP” simply means a 1-year vaccine given via dart. PZP is substance that comes in many forms: a 1 year, 18-24 months and certain forms can lead to permanent sterility. PZP is a substance, not a method, primarily used as part of a helicopter roundup. SpayVac is a distinct form of PZP.

Humbolt (NV) County Commissioner James French of Winnemucca, Nevada, was re-appointed to the natural resource management position. (As commissioner he was party to legal action taken by the Nevada Association of Counties to remove and destroy wild horses statewide and reports directly to the county commission of activities concerning the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board).

Beaver County (UT) Commissioner Tammy Pearson of Minersville, Utah, was appointed to the public interest position. Tammy Pearson was part of the threat by Beaver county to illegally remove wild horses in the county on BLM land and the push for The Wild Horse Oversight Act of 2014, H.R. 5058 that would tun over management actions concerning wild horses on federal land to the states,  both during the Bunkerville standoff. She runs livestock in the Frisco HMA in Utah and is openly pro horse slaughter. She was a presenter at the invite only Summit of the Wild Horse (that has driven directives in the wild hose and burro program for the last 4 years) and a participant in “Ten Years to AML.”

Tammy Pearson will be new to many advocates. A fast glance at her social media reveals that she appears to be a climate change denier, sent letters against Covid restrictions, and that she celebrated the pardon of  Commissioner Phil Lyman (who led 50 ATV riders down Recapture Canyon which the Bureau of Land Management closed to motorized traffic, as a protest against federal overreach on public lands).

A fast Google search, or scroll through social media feeds, can reveal a lot about each person on the board.

Each member will serve a three-year term on the advisory board. These terms expire in January 2024.

A new Secretary of Interior will have the power to disband the board and rebuild it (as was done in the 1990s). This board is an “anti-wild horse” advisory board that is advocating for their own interests, not wild horses and burros.

The board is extremely “one-sided” and protection and preservation is not the priority. 

We need a board that puts the wild horse and burro first, and then creates recommendations to protect wild horses and burros that can be balanced by the agency through land use planning.

Rebuilding the Advisory Board is one of the items WHE have placed on our advocate action agenda that will begin later this month.


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BLM PRESS RELEASE 1/15/2021

The Bureau of Land Management announces three new appointees
to the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – As part of its mandate to ensure public involvement and science-based decision making in managing America’s wild horses and burros, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced three appointments today for its National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. The three new members bring expertise in the areas of research, natural resource management and public interest (with special knowledge of equine behavior).

Dr. Ursula Bechert of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was appointed to the research position; Commissioner James French of Winnemucca, Nevada, was re-appointed to the natural resource management position; and Commissioner Tammy Pearson of Minersville, Utah, was appointed to the public interest position. Each member will serve a three-year term on the advisory board.

Bechert currently serves as the Director of Graduate Programs at the University of Pennsylvania College of Arts and Sciences. She received her DVM from Washington State University in 1991 and her PhD in Animal Sciences (reproductive endocrinology) from Oregon State University in 1998. She has served on numerous national and international panels and committees in related disciplines and has over 30 papers published in peer-reviewed journals and books. She has extensive practical experience as a veterinarian, researcher, instructor and academic leader, demonstrating exceptional communication and relationship-building skills.

French serves as a Commissioner for Humboldt County, Nevada, and has 30 years of experience as a wildlife biologist with the Nevada Division of Wildlife. In this capacity, he’s gained extensive knowledge of wild horse and burro behavior and how it interrelates with other wildlife. He serves on many collaborative boards and committees addressing natural resource and multiple-use issues on public lands throughout the West. He has a reputation for building coalitions among peers and seeking practical solutions to challenging issues. This is his second consecutive appointment to the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board.

Pearson serves as a Commissioner for Beaver County, Utah. She has nearly 40 years of experience as a public lands rancher in Utah and has worked closely with numerous organizations focused on public lands issues. She is a founding member of the Path Forward, Free Roaming Equids and Ecosystem Sustainability and Wild Horse and Burro Summit coalitions looking to address the critical issue of wild horse and burro management and population control. She’s spent many hours in Utah and Washington, D.C., educating elected leaders on the ecosystem impacts of wild horses and burros, rallying local and national stakeholders to improve methods of controlling wild horse and burro populations. She studied Agricultural Science at Utah State University.

The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board is comprised of nine members representing a diverse range of stakeholders and interests. The Board provides advice and recommendations to the BLM and U.S. Forest Service as the agencies carry out their responsibilities under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The law mandates the protection and management of these free-roaming animals in a manner that ensures healthy herds at levels consistent with the land’s capacity to sustainably support them and other authorized uses of the land. Board members have a demonstrated ability to analyze information, evaluate programs, identify problems, work collaboratively and develop corrective actions. More information about the Advisory Board can be found at BLM.gov/WHB.

The next meeting of the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will take place in the spring with dates and other details, including agenda and public comment opportunities, announced ahead of time in the Federal Register and national media.

For additional information regarding the upcoming advisory board meeting, please contact Dorothea Boothe, Wild Horse and Burro Program Coordinator, at (602) 906-5543 or at dboothe@blm.gov. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 800-877-8339 during normal business hours.

Categories: Wild Horse Education