Protocols for Media at Wild Horse and Burro Gathers

IM 2011-040
Instruction Memorandum


December 16, 2010


In Reply Refer To:

1543, 4700 (260/610) P



Instruction Memorandum No. 2011-040

Expires: 09/30/2012


To:        All Field Office Officials

Attn: Field Managers, External Affairs Chiefs

From:               Director   

Subject:            Protocols for Media at Wild Horse and Burro Gathers

Program Area(s):  Wild Horse and Burro Management 

Purpose:  The purpose of this Instruction Memorandum (IM) is to establish minimum standards for access to credentialed media that should be followed when conducting wild horse and burro gathers.  However, States are encouraged to provide greater access to credentialed media than what is required in this IM.          

Policy/Action:  All State and Field Offices must follow the standards below at wild horse and burro gathers conducted within their jurisdiction:

            (1)  "Credentialed media" includes anyone identifying himself or herself as a journalist who can provide either an official press credential (such as a media-related photo identification badge), OR a letter from a media outlet identifying the individual as a representative of that outlet, OR a freelancer who can provide recent clips from a body of journalistic work (such as articles, photos, audiotapes, and videotapes).

            (2)  All credentialed media will be provided special observation access, if requested, depending on their specific needs only when the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) determines that access beyond that granted to the public can be provided safely.  Each media outlet will be allocated a minimum of one day per reporter per gather to complete their assignment.

            (3)  Media access requests must be made to the Public Affairs Officer (PAO) in charge, who will work with the Contracting Officer Representative (COR) and the contractor to identify a safe access location as close to the media's needs as possible.  For their own safety, media representatives must follow the instructions of the PAO, who shall consider and relay special requests, as warranted, to the COR.  Violations of the media safety instructions could result in a revocation of special access or other measures.

Timeframe:  These media and public access protocols are effective immediately.     

Budget Impact:  Minimal budget impact is expected.

Background:  The BLM welcomes media interest in its management of wild horses and burros and is committed to working with members of the media to accommodate reasonable requests for access, provided they are consistent with safety for both animals and the public.  The BLM is committed to full transparency in its Wild Horse and Burro Program and encourages feedback from the media and the public as to how best to achieve that goal.

These protocols apply to all media, and individual members of the media should not receive preferential treatment.       

Manual/Handbook Sections Affected:  None.       

Coordination:  This IM was coordinated with the Division of Public Affairs, the Division of Wild Horse and Burro Management, and BLM Senior Leadership.

Contacts:  For questions regarding this policy, please contact the Washington Office Public Affairs Division Chief at (202) 912-7410.



Signed by:                                                       Authenticated by:

Mike Pool                                                        Robert M. Williams

Acting, Director                                              Division of IRM Governance,WO-560