The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will meet July 9-11 in Boise, Idaho, and October 29-31 in Washington, D.C. The Board will discuss the pressing challenges of wild horse and burro management, including the number of unadopted and unsold animals in BLM facilities and the effects of overpopulation on public lands.
Both meetings will be live-streamed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time July 10-11 and October 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.
The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board is comprised of individuals representing a diverse range of stakeholders and interests. The Board provides advice and recommendations to the BLM as the agency carries out its 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 as part of BLM’s multiple-use mission.
As of March 1, 2019, the BLM estimated public rangelands were home to approximately 88,090 wild horses and burros in 10 Western states – the largest population estimate since the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was passed – and more than three times the number the habitat can sustainably support in conjunction with other authorized land uses. At the same time, the BLM continues to care for approximately 50,000 unadopted and unsold animals in its off-range corrals and pastures, costing taxpayers $50 million annually – nearly two-thirds of the Wild Horse and Burro Program annual budget.
The agendas of the upcoming meetings can be found in the June 7, 2019 Federal Register at www.federalregister.gov. More detailed agendas and materials will be posted on the BLM website at BLM.gov/WHB prior to each meeting. The July meeting will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Boise, located at 348 S. 13th Street, Boise, Idaho 83702. The October meeting will be held at the Phoenix Park Hotel located at 520 North Capitol Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 and at 20 F Street Conference Center located at 20 F Street, NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20001.
The public may address the Advisory Board on July 11 and October 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. There will be a webcam present during the entire meeting and individual comments will be recorded. 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 email@example.com. Please include “Advisory Board Comment” in the subject line of the e-mail.
For additional information regarding the meeting or to register to attend the July 9 HMA tour, please contact Dorothea Boothe, Acting Wild Horse and Burro Program Coordinator, at (202) 912-7654 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may reach Ms. Boothe during normal business hours by calling the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.