Two people stand on a grassy hillside in the King Range Wilderness, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Mtn. Bike Rider on the Bizz Johnson Trail King Range National Conservation Area Poppy Three Pump Jacks, Midway-Sunset Oilfield
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Employee Profile

Tom Pogacnik

Wild Horse and Burro Program Manager
California State Office

An Ohio State graduate with a bachelor's degree in wildlife biology, Tom left his native Ohio for Montana to be a biologist for the U.S. Forest Service.  A few years later, he worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rangeland Insect Laboratory in Bozeman, Montana, while completing his masters degree in rangeland ecology at Montana State University.  Upon completing his schooling, he came to work for BLM at the Tonopah Resource Area as a rangeland conservationist.  Most of the grazing allotments under Tom's responsibility also supported large herds of wild hoses and burros.  When the field office wild horse and burro specialist moved, he picked up the duties "temporarily."  Twenty-one years later, he is still deeply committed to the program.

In addition to being the wild horse and burro specialist in Tonopah, he has been the Nevada wild horse and burro program manager, the senior wild horse and burro specialist for the national program office, the chief of the national wild horse and burro program, and operations manager for the national program.  He came to California in 2002.   

He says that when he arrived in California, he was fortunate to find the start of a strong volunteer program.  "It has been a pleasure to be a part of a pilot project to increase public participation in the wild horse and burro program.  Our volunteers are overwhelmingly passionate about wild horse and burros and bring an enthusiasm to help animals and share their experience with new and potential adoptors."
For "relaxation" Tom enjoys the challenge of finding a house, visualizing its potential. then tearing it apart and rebuilding it.  He also enjoys running with his dogs every night.  "They are pretty forgiving of my going to work every day so long as they get their exercise when I get home."

Tom lives in Citrus Heights.  His wife, Peggy, is the lead archaeologist with BLM in the Carson City Field Office.


Tom Pogacnik and friend

"It can't be better than to have a job where I get to play with wild horses and burros and share that experience with great people."