Fact Finders To Assess BLM Wild Horse And Burro Program

Pat Shae, Director of the Bureau of Land Management, announced he has asked three independent fact finders to analyze specific issues related to the BLM's wild horse and burro program. The fact finders include an accountant, a veterinarian, and a newspaper editor; all three are volunteering their time and will not receive compensation.

"My goal is to strengthen the program by first having a thorough and sound analysis of various aspects of the program. I am delighted that the fact finders have agreed to help the BLM and I am grateful for their assistance," said Shae.

The fact finders include:

• Stuart Finley, a certified public accountant with the firm of Ripley Dorn and Company of Nampa, Idaho. He will be reviewing the BLM's methods and procedures used to inventory wild horse and burro populations on BLM-managed lands; the administration of BLM's wild horse and burro adoption program; the BLM's record-keeping procedures related to transferring title of wild horses and burros to private owners; and the agency's methods for auditing adopters' compliance with laws related to wild horses and burros.

• Matthew Mackay-Smith, a veterinarian in White Post, Virginia. He will review population control options such as birth control for wild horses and burros on the range; ways to achieve the appropriate management levels of wild horses and burros on the range; and the effectiveness of BLM's procedures to ensure that adopted horses and burros receive humane care.

•Jay Shelledy, editor of the Salt Lake Tribune in Salt Lake City, Utah. He will review media coverage of the wild horse and burro program; BLM's responsiveness to inquiries about the program; and determine to what extent the BLM has implemented recommendations made in various reports and other documents.

The BLM manages about 42,000 wild horses and burros that roam public lands managed in the West under the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971. That law mandates the protection, management, and control of wild free-roaming horses and burros on public lands at population levels that ensure a thriving ecological balance.

About the Author

Tim Brockhoff

Tim Brockhoff was Staff Writer of The Horse:Your Guide to Equine Health Care from 1995 to 1999. His degree is in Agricultural Communications from the University of Kentucky, and his equine experience is with American Saddlebreds.

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