Alex Neibergs is the Wild Horse and Burro Specialist stationed out of the Ridgecrest Field Office. In this position he works closely with the other field offices in the district, the Lake Havasu, and Yuma Arizona Field Offices addressing management and issues related to Wild Horses and Burros. He continues to be involved with developing and implementing land use plan decisions.
He considers working at the Ridgecrest Wild Horse and Burro Holding and Adoption Facility one of the most unique duties that he addresses. He explains that between 1,500 and 2,000 Wild Horses and Burros gathered from the rangelands in California and Nevada go through this facility.
In previous days, Alex assisted in the feed, care, feet trimming, and vaccinating of the animals to be placed into the Adoption Program. Today, with modernization, his assistance is rarely required and he remembers his days of 'hands-on' with the animals with fondness. But, even though he does not work as often with the animals directly, his role in their lives is paramount.
"The most rewarding aspect of the program I have been involved with is the adoption program. Working at the adoption events and seeing the enthusiasm the public have in learning more about the Wild Horse and Burro Program and the excitement they have in the anticipation of bringing home a wild one to...train," says Alex.
Alex truly believes in the intent of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act in which Congress finds and declares "...wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people..."
When needed or requested Alex assists in staffing the Salt Wells and Olancha fire engines and he helped on engine 3635 during the fire storms of southern California in the "Old Fire". But Alex came to the main thrust of his position because it offered "...a unique opportunity in managing a wildlife population and its habitat under the principles of multiple use and sustained yields."
Alex started with BLM in 1987 as a Range Technician in Buffalo, Wyoming, in 1988 he held the same position in Ely, Nevada and from 1988 to 1993 he was a Range Conservationist for the California Desert District. In 1993 he came to his current position. Alex holds a B.S. in Animal Science and another B.S. in Range Management from Washington State University.
His father was the swine heard manager for Washington State University, and Alex grew up in an agricultural environment. He was a involved with 4-H and Future Farmers of America and worked on several farms and ranches before committing to a career with the federal government. At one point he worked with the Forest Service in the Chugach National Forest, out of Seward, Alaska collecting pre and post burn data for moose habitat.
Horse, burros, and moose have not been the only animals that Alex has worked with. He also participated with the California Department of Fish and Game in radio collaring deer within the Chocolate Mule Mountains Herd Management Area and later radio collaring bighorn sheep in a different study.
When Alex isn't working outdoors, he's playing outdoors, "...rain, snow or shine from swimming, hiking, skiing, biking, fishing, playing football and of course, horseback riding..." Of course.