BLM Announces 30-Day Extension of Comment Period for New Direction in National Wild Horse and Burro Program
WASHINGTON, DC – Today the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced it is extending the public comment period on its Wild Horse and Burro Program Strategy Development Document to September 3, 2010. The extension will provide members of the public with an interest in the management of America’s wild horses and burros an additional 30 days to comment on the document, which outlines possible management actions under consideration by the BLM to implement Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar’s Wild Horse and Burro Initiative. The bureau will also accept comments submitted via e-mail.
The BLM’s Strategy Development Document was initially released to the public for a 60-day review and comment period on June 3. The extension announced today will increase the public’s opportunity to provide input for the BLM as it prepares a long-term strategy for the management of America’s wild horses and burros. The BLM’s strategy will be presented in a detailed report to Congress. A PDF version of the Strategic Development Document is available by clicking on http://blm.gov/m14c.
“We made this decision because we are committed to providing the fullest possible opportunity for the public to join this dialogue regarding future management options for the nation’s wild horses,” said BLM Director Bob Abbey. “We are committed to working with all stakeholders in a transparent manner to ensure the future health of our wild horses.”
To ensure input from the broadest number of stakeholders, the BLM will also accept comments by email at email@example.com and by mail at BLM Washington Office,1849 C Street NW, Rm. 5665, Washington, DC 20240. If e-mailing comments, please put “WHB Public Comment” in the subject line. If sending by mail, comments need to be postmarked no later than September 3, 2010. The BLM is also soliciting feedback online using ePlanning (accessible online at http://blm.gov/m14c).
The BLM estimates that more than 38,000 wild horses and burros roam BLM-managed rangelands in 10 Western states. Another 35,000 wild horses and burros are fed and cared for at short-term corrals and long-term pastures. Costs for the program, particularly those for animals in holding facilities, have risen dramatically in the last several years. In Fiscal Year 2009, for example, approximately $29 million, or about 70 percent of the total wild horse and burro program budget of $40.6 million, was spent on animals held in corrals and pastures.
The original news release, the Udall Institute Report, and other documents are available at http://www.blm.gov/whbstrategy.
The BLM manages more land – more than 245 million acres – than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 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. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.