The Bureau of Land Management announces three new appointees to the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – As part of its mandate to ensure public involvement and science-based decision making in managing America’s wild horses and burros, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced three appointments today for its National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. The three new members bring expertise in the areas of research, natural resource management and public interest (with special knowledge of equine behavior).

Dr. Ursula Bechert of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was appointed to the research position; Commissioner James French of Winnemucca, Nevada, was re-appointed to the natural resource management position; and Commissioner Tammy Pearson of Minersville, Utah, was appointed to the public interest position. Each member will serve a three-year term on the advisory board.

Bechert currently serves as the Director of Graduate Programs at the University of Pennsylvania College of Arts and Sciences. She received her DVM from Washington State University in 1991 and her PhD in Animal Sciences (reproductive endocrinology) from Oregon State University in 1998. She has served on numerous national and international panels and committees in related disciplines and has over 30 papers published in peer-reviewed journals and books. She has extensive practical experience as a veterinarian, researcher, instructor and academic leader, demonstrating exceptional communication and relationship-building skills.

French serves as a Commissioner for Humboldt County, Nevada, and has 30 years of experience as a wildlife biologist with the Nevada Division of Wildlife. In this capacity, he’s gained extensive knowledge of wild horse and burro behavior and how it interrelates with other wildlife. He serves on many collaborative boards and committees addressing natural resource and multiple-use issues on public lands throughout the West. He has a reputation for building coalitions among peers and seeking practical solutions to challenging issues. This is his second consecutive appointment to the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board.

Pearson serves as a Commissioner for Beaver County, Utah. She has nearly 40 years of experience as a public lands rancher in Utah and has worked closely with numerous organizations focused on public lands issues. She is a founding member of the Path Forward, Free Roaming Equids and Ecosystem Sustainability and Wild Horse and Burro Summit coalitions looking to address the critical issue of wild horse and burro management and population control. She’s spent many hours in Utah and Washington, D.C., educating elected leaders on the ecosystem impacts of wild horses and burros, rallying local and national stakeholders to improve methods of controlling wild horse and burro populations. She studied Agricultural Science at Utah State University.

The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board is comprised of nine members representing a diverse range of stakeholders and interests. The Board provides advice and recommendations to the BLM and U.S. Forest Service as the agencies carry out their responsibilities under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The law mandates the protection and management of these free-roaming animals in a manner that ensures healthy herds at levels consistent with the land’s capacity to sustainably support them and other authorized uses of the land. Board members have a demonstrated ability to analyze information, evaluate programs, identify problems, work collaboratively and develop corrective actions. More information about the Advisory Board can be found at

The next meeting of the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will take place in the spring with dates and other details, including agenda and public comment opportunities, announced ahead of time in the Federal Register and national media.

For additional information regarding the upcoming advisory board meeting, please contact Dorothea Boothe, Wild Horse and Burro Program Coordinator, at (602) 906-5543 or at Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 800-877-8339 during normal business hours.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Release Date


Bureau of Land Management


Paul McGuire