Wild Horse and Burro Gather Daily Reporting Policy, Internal Communications Protocols

IM 2010-162
Instruction Memorandum


July 16, 2010

In Reply Refer To:

4700 (200) P



Instruction Memorandum No. 2010-162

Expires:  09/30/2011


To:                         All Field Offices

From:                    Deputy Director

Subject:                Wild Horse and Burro Gather Daily Reporting Policy, Internal Communications Protocols


Program Area:  Wild Horses and Burros

Purpose:  As part of our responsibility to ensure the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) responsiveness to the public, the Department, and Congress, it is essential that consistent, concise, accurate, and timely information about ongoing gathers is provided by employees on-the-ground.  This Instruction Memorandum establishes protocols for internally communicating and reporting gather information during the course of all on-going wild horse and burro gathers.

Policy/Action:  To assist BLM state, field, and district offices in communicating essential information, Attachment 1 contains the Wild Horse and Burro Daily Gather Status Report template to be used to report daily gather information.  The Daily Gather Status Report shall be transmitted to the Director, the Deputy Director for Operations, the applicable State Director(s), the Assistant Director for Renewable Resources and Planning, the Assistant Director for Communications, and the appropriate line officers at the field level.  The official responsible for ensuring that this information is transmitted to the principals listed above is the on-site manager who is in charge of gather operations for any given day during a gather.  The report shall be sent twice per day, once at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time and once at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time, while gather operations are on-going.   The preferred method of sending the information is, in order: 1. E-mail; 2. Fax; and 3. Cell or satellite transmitted to other managers or staff in the state who can record the information and immediately send it.

If a critical incident occurs, it should be immediately reported to the principals above by the most efficient means possible.  It also should be reflected in the Daily Gather Status Report and an Early Alert should be immediately forwarded to Washington Office (WO) Public Affairs.

Because gather locations are remote and may preclude e-mail, fax, or cell communications, all offices that are conducting gathers are required to have a satellite phone available on-site.  If the State, Field, or District Office does not have a satellite phone available to use during gathers, please contact Bea Wade at (775) 861-6625 to arrange for a satellite phone to be loaned to on-site gather personnel.

Timeframe:  This IM is immediately effective.

Budget Impact:  None.

Background:  Many BLM wild horse and burro gather operations are high profile events that receive a significant level of internal and external attention.  The 24 hour news cycle and internet and satellite communications have made it possible for mass information sharing and the proliferation of misinformation about the Wild Horse and Burro program and wild horse and burro gathers.  In addition, press/media, congressional, and public attention on recent gathers has compelled the BLM to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information.  Given this attention, it is critically important that the BLM operate in as open and transparent manner as possible.  In addition, providing Daily Gather Status Reports to key BLM officials, as outlined in this IM, will significantly improve the BLM’s situational awareness, decision making, ability to address critical circumstances, and accurately respond to congressional, press/media, and public inquiries.  Most importantly, it will provide management with the most up-to-date information that is needed to make informed decisions. 

Manual/Handbook Sections Affected:  None.

Coordination:  This IM was coordinated with the Assistant Director for Renewable Resources and Planning, the Assistant Director for Communications, and the Director’s Office.

Contact:  Dean Bolstad, Wild Horse Management Specialist, (775) 861-6611, and Mary Knapp, Wild Horse and Burro Public Affairs Specialist, (202) 912-7418.



Signed by:                                                                   Authenticated by:

Mike Pool                                                                    Robert M. Williams

Deputy Director                                                          Division of IRM Governance,WO-560



1 Attachment

1 - AM/PM Wild Horse and Burro Daily Gather Status Report Template (1 p)