SALT LAKE CITY, Utah. - The Bureau of Land Management’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will meet March 27-28 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to discuss the pressing challenge of wild horse and burro management on public lands and the impacts a growing overpopulation is having on the environment. The meeting will be live-streamed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Time on Tuesday and 8 a.m. to Noon Mountain Time on Wednesday at http://www.blm.gov/live.
“Healthy wild horses and burros are an important part of our public lands, but without effective management, overpopulation threatens the health of the animals and their habitat,” said Brian Steed, BLM Deputy Director for Programs and Policy. “We look forward to working with the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board to find effective solutions that will help us reach our goal of maintaining healthy wild horses and burros on thriving public rangelands.”
According to the most recent population estimates compiled as of March 1, 2017, the estimated population is about 73,000 wild horses and burros in 10 Western states —a record number since the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was passed -- and almost three times the number the habitat can sustainably support in conjunction with other land uses. Because wild horses and burros have virtually no natural predators on public rangelands, herds grow at an astonishing rate -- doubling in size in just 4 or 5 years if not properly managed.
The agenda of the upcoming meeting can be found in the March 13, Federal Register notice. The meeting will be held at the Radisson Hotel Salt Lake Downtown at 215 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101. The hotel's phone number is 801-531-7500; its website address is www.radisson.com/salt-lake-city-hotel-ut-84101/utsaltlk for reference.
The public may address the Advisory Board on Tuesday from 3 to 5 p.m. Mountain Time. Individuals who want to make a statement should register in person with the BLM prior to 2:30 p.m. local time, on that same day at the meeting site. Depending on the number of speakers, the Board may limit the length of presentations, set at about three minutes for previous meetings.
Speakers should submit a written copy of their statement 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 may be recorded. Those who would like to comment but are unable to attend may submit a written statement by March 20 to: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, National Wild Horse and Burro Program (WO-260), Attention: Advisory Board, 20 M Street, SE, Room 2134LM, Washington, D.C. 20003. Comments may also be e-mailed by March 20 to the BLM at firstname.lastname@example.org; please include "Advisory Board Comment" in the subject line of the e-mail.
The Advisory Board provides advice and recommendations to the BLM as it 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 along with other uses of the land.
For additional information regarding the meeting, please contact Dorothea Boothe, Acting Wild Horse and Burro Outreach Specialist, at (202)-912-7654. 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.