McDonnell, Woehl, and Cope Join Wild Horse Advisory Board

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today that the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture have made selections for the three open positions on its nine-member National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. Sue M. McDonnell, PhD, Cert. AAB, of West Chester, Pa., has been appointed for the category of wild horse and burro research; Fred T. Woehl, Jr., of Harrison, Ark., has been appointed for the category of public interest (with special knowledge of equine behavior); and Robert E. Cope, DVM, of Salmon, Idaho, has been appointed for the category of natural resources management. Each individual will serve a three-year term on the board.

McDonnell is clinical associate and adjunct professor of reproduction and behavior at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Also, as a certified applied animal behaviorist, she consults privately on equine behavior and welfare. McDonnell, who holds a PhD from the University of Delaware, co-edited the current leading academic book on horse behavior, titled The Domestic Horse: The Evolution, Development and Management of its Behaviour, published by Cambridge University Press.

Woehl has been involved in the horse community for more than 40 years as a trainer, natural horsemanship clinician, and educator. He is actively involved with the Equine Science Department at the University of Arkansas and taught Equine Science at North Arkansas College. He has served as a volunteer for the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program for 10 years, conducting demonstrations of wild horse versatility and assisting with adoptions. Woehl worked as a senior agricultural adviser for the U.S. State Department from October 2008 to November 2009 in Iraq, where he was responsible for the development and implementation of agricultural programs and policy for the Ninewa Province.

Cope, who earned his DVM at Kansas State University, has practiced veterinary medicine since 1975. After relocating to Idaho, he was elected Lemhi County Commissioner in 2001 and still serves in that position. Cope has been active in the National Association of Counties (NACo), serving as chair or vice chair of NACo’s Environment, Energy, and Land Use Steering Committee for nine years. As a veterinarian for nearly 40 years, Cope has focused on large animals, particularly range livestock.

The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board advises the BLM on the management and protection of wild free-roaming horses and burros on public lands and national forests administered by those agencies, as mandated by the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. Members of the board, who represent various categories of interests, must have a demonstrated ability to analyze information, evaluate programs, identify problems, work collaboratively, and develop corrective actions. 

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