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Bureau of Land Management
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Tom Gorey
(202) 452-5137

BLM Announces New Appointments
to National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board

The Bureau of Land Management today announced new appointments to its National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board.  The nine-member board advises both the BLM (an agency of the U.S. Interior Department) and Forest Service (an agency of the U.S. Agriculture Department) on the management, protection, and control of wild horses and burros that roam Western public rangelands.

New to the Advisory Board is Melissa Scott of Decatur, Tennessee, who is a teacher, trainer, and competitor in the horse community and an adopter of a wild horse.  Ms. Scott will serve as the public interest representative on the board, whose members represent a balance of interests.

Newly re-appointed members are Gary Zakotnik of Eden, Wyoming, a rancher who is the board’s livestock management representative; Larry Johnson of Reno, Nevada, President of the Coalition for Nevada’s Wildlife, as well as Director of Nevada Bighorn Unlimited, who serves as the board’s wildlife management representative; and Richard Sewing of Cedar City, Utah.  Mr. Sewing, who manages the National Mustang Association ranch and sanctuary, had served as the board’s wild horse and burro advocacy representative from 2000-2003; as a re-appointed member, he will now serve as the humane advocacy representative.

Advisory Board members serve three-year terms, on a staggered-term basis, with one-third of the Board subject to appointment each year.  The Board meets at least two times a year and the BLM Director may call additional meetings when necessary.  Members serve without salary, but are reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses according to government travel regulations.  In accordance with Section 7 of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, Federal and state government employees are not eligible to serve on the board.

The 1971 law mandates the protection, management, and control of wild horses and burros in a manner that ensures healthy herds at levels consistent with the land’s capacity to support them. About 31,000 wild horses and burros roam BLM-managed rangelands in 10 Western states.

The BLM manages more land – 258 million surface acres – than any other Federal agency.  Most of this public land is located in 12 Western states, including Alaska.  The Bureau, with a budget of about $1.8 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation.  The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.