Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting Sept 11, 2013 (first morning session)

31 Jan

Note to my readers:

   AS I watched the live-stream and the captured text, I noticed various problems with the captioning. It is evident to me that voice recognition software was used to capture the text from the speakers instead of a professional transcriber like a court reporter.

 There are many words here that are not spelled correctly. When trying to read this captured text, and the word is unintelligible, trying saying the word out loud phonetically. I hesitated to change any text or make corrections as I did not want to be accused of modifying it to suit any particular persons benefit or detriment. Please consider this not as an essay, but more as notes and a guide for further conversations.

–  When you see this: >>   it means theres a change of speaker. Sometimes the live-stream captioning added the names of the speakers and sometimes it did not.

–  The multiple dash  – means that live captioning dropped some text.

–  Sometimes the live captioning repeated the beginning of a sentence and sometimes whole sentences were dropped.

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we’ll go to Joan Guilfoyle to get an update, a BLM update.

>> JOAN GUILFOYLE: All right. Thank you, Boyd. So I’d like to — normally we do this on the first opening day as you all know. I realized this morning that because we were adjusting our agenda because of the topics, we never got a chance or I never got a chance to introduce and make known some of the BLM Forest Service folks in the audience and helping with this, so I wanted to do that now. Alan shepherd acting division chief most of you have met him. There’s other folks. Dean Bolstad is the senior — what’s your title? I don’t remember.
>> DR. BOYD SPRATLING: Joan, that’s an indication you Mac your titles too cumbersome.

>> JOAN GUILFOYLE: It’s simple which is why I forgot it. Joan Ruth is here assistant to the director. Anting director on Fish and Wildlife Service. I see Zach Reichold senior advisor here DC full time. Sally Spencer in the back who has been doing meeting organization and I want to thank her and I know the board always wants to thank Sally for all the background work she does for us.

We also have folks from the states who helped look at this NAS report. We have Jerry Bibey from the Montana state lead. Rob sharp, Oregon, WashingtonState lead. Roger back there who is Arizona. And I think did I hit all the BLM folks? There are probably some of them online and the Forest Service, Ralph and — Debbie Collins on the right. She’s our public information person.

Dr. Al Kane is back there out of my view who is our APHIS person who helps us quite a lot. Rebecca Moore is the economist who works in Fort Collins who is new hire relatively speaking with the BLM and helping do some economic analysis on our program which is really helpful and I think that may have gotten all the people on our team.

BLM. Forest Service. Barry and Ralph, is it all right if I introduce you, Barry Emeler is long time Washington office contact for the Wild Horse and Burro for the Forest Service and Ralph Geffen works on the range program. His boss Charlie Richmond is who you heard from yesterday and Holly hooks just showed up who is budget chief for the program. I wanted to make sure you knew who everyone was and if you have any questions anybody, feel free. Good people out there.

So I’m going to do the update I normally would have done the first day. So first of all, wanted to mention that three of the board members terms are expiring on March 28th, 2014. And those three folks whose terms are expiring are Robert Bray, Julie Gleason, and Joe Dear. The opportunity for people to renominate themselves or come in anew has already been published in the Federal Register.

We did decide to extend it because we wanted to make sure we had a lot of folks who had an opportunity to apply. And I frankly can’t tell you what the extension date is because Sharon is not in the room and I don’t actually know. But people — there’s still an opportunity for people to apply if they would like to. And whether those three folks reapply and get renominated or not, I don’t know. But I wanted to say to you thank you now publicly for everything you’ve done for us and it’s been a pleasure working with you. I don’t know if we’ll have a meeting before maverick 28th, 2014 or not. March 28th, 201 for or not so I wanted to say it now.

Program program: I wanted to update you on instruction memorandum that we’re working on. That’s the kind of national policy that my office is responsible for issuing for the entire program. And there is four of them. I just want to mention to you. One of them is simple one which I’ve not read because it isn’t something I need to think much about but it’s vaccines and deworth, short-term corral. So we have things down as technical as that. As wide as our — deworming, as wide as sales program policy.

Remember we did revisions to that in I believe January and now we’re coming out with the final guidance on that program. There is a IM that expired. They last only two years so we always have to renew them. And this one is euthanasia of wild horses and burros for reasons related to acts of mercy, health and safety. That one expired — I actually don’t know when but it’s time we’ve been working on revisions of it. But that is in the surnaming process.

And the fourth one is for the wild horse and burro program system which is our database that all information about our animals when they come off the range is held within. And Dean, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think — I don’t think that’s the renewal. I think that’s a — or Alan, that’s a new IM. I’ll just tell you that IM came about because I became aware that we didn’t have any clear national guidance on how do you track animals, particularly at short-term corrals who are — who die when they’re too young to have been either marked with a freeze brand under I think it’s three months of age or they’re stillborn.

And this issue actually — I have to say — and I was going to say this later, but I do appreciate sometimes folks who are external to the program who haven’t been in it for a long time and sometimes you can’t see things that may need to be adrused or looked at. The question was brought up by some numbers of deaths at Palomino valley facility versus the numbers that were reported by the place that does the taking care of the remains of those animals and there was a discrepancy in the numbers which made me say well how do we count them and how do we keep track of that which led to well we need it national guidance on it the we’re not trying to hide anything, we just need to be super clear on what gets recorded when. That’s what that guidance is about. So I’m very happy about that that that is in surnaming and that will be done and it will be very easy to see how we track those things and that there’s no secrets going on there.

So those are the four national guidance pieces that are under way. And Julie, you mentioned something about adoptions and you might want to talk about and then if you still wanted some clarification on the AML setting, do you want to do that now or do that at the end or — shall I finish up and — Okay. Let’s do that. Thanks.

So some more guidance that is not quite at the draft stage yet at least come to me. You all remember that we did issue our first national policy on animal welfare last January on how animals are handled at gathers, how — what is humane treatment on them at gathers. That was the first time we had codified a lot of the practices we had been doing but you get them in writing and then you could be very clear on what is the appropriate way to manage and handle animals in the humane way when you’re bringing them in on a gather.

And that guidance came out of January. We’ve been working with the University of California Davis to do some refinements of it and some SOPs, standard operating procedures plus training programs for our staff and for our contractors plus the evaluation piece. So how do you know if you’re still meeting the standard and you adjust it as you go along. So I think that’s really a good thing.

And I wanted to let you know that now that we have one almost done and the new helicopter contract for gathers will have a new solicitation which will incorporate these SOPs in it because we want to make sure that our contractors understand — we have a standard and that’s the standard that they need to work with us on. We also are doing the exact same thing for every other place that an animal is handled. So that includes short-term corrals, any adoption events, our prison inmate training program, plus long-term pastures eco sanctuaries and out on the range even though out on the range we’re not handling them. But covering everything where these animals are including the transportation of them. And there are two teams that Alan actually has been supervising the leads for those teams who are working on that policy.

And I hope when we have our next board meeting that I’ll at least be able to tell you where the draft is at and maybe we’ll actually be done with this. This type of policy takes a long time because people work all around the country and getting them together to have conversations about it is difficult because they have other work to do too. But I’m very happy that we’re doing that.

I wanted to also update you on the shade issue that came up at Palomino valley which someone yesterday in the public comment made reference to. I think you all know because we try to send you the news releases that we put out about this that we did have a public workshop on all August 6ingth in Reno is that by the capital? I can’t remember now. And we did that partly — it was a new style, I think that we tried to use. Some of it is in the NAS report on public involvement where it’s really not stand up — I think I said this on day one, it’s not stand up and make your statement and then sit down. It’s more a conversation and a discussion and the deliberation and hopefully, good ideas are exchanged and shared and we can kind of come up with some good solutions together.

So it took a little adjustment I think for people and probably will continue to take some adjustment for people to get in that mode with us. But that’s fine. That’s okay, that’s change. And adjustment and facilitators are good at helping with that kind of thing.

We did ask some, two academic folks from the University of California Davis who are experts in animal welfare to speak and actually they had visited Palomino valley. They looked at it. They did an assessment for us and they gave us their recommendations on what we should do. And my specific notes on that are down on the floor here so I’ll do this from memory and Alan can correct me if I do it wrong.

I believe their recommendations were that we put shade over 50% of the corral that holds sick and injured or elderly animals. Okay, he’s shaking his head and they did not recommend that — they did not think that shade was — they did not recommend that shade be over all of the corrals, am I capturing those two? Those were their two recommendations to us. So the manager at PDC has since that meeting on August 6th put up some shelters as one shelter — I think it’s called a shady structure. Another one that was a commercial product and another one that they designed to put in a couple of the corrals and then do an evaluation using an evaluative process that U.C. Davis gas us on how do the animals respond, how often do they use it, et cetera, who uses it? That kind of thing so we can evaluate what kind of structure will help us get to this 50% shade for those corrals for those animals. And I want to thank some organizations who helped fund this.

The national mustang association, June is the president of that. They donated materials to build the one structure that our folks built. And the humane society donated one of the shady shelters to put up so that was wonderful that they stepped up. Yesterday somebody said something about showing up with hammers and nails and people kind of did that in this way and through these two organizations and we really appreciate their involvement with that.

That’s that update for you. I want to say — just to address one public comment I think that we never did confirm that any mortality happened because of heat. That is what the veterinarian said and that is what the C. Davis people said. Animals did die in that time frame but it was not related to heat. So we do also have sprinklers that we put up right away while we were figuring out this more shade solution so that continues.

A lot of things have within in the news that starting in July processing plants in the United States would accept horses and burros. Heard about this, I assembled a team of people who dealt with it last time there were processing plants in this country about what our relationship was with those plants and they got a letter drafted again, shaped it a little bit from the last time, a letter that we will be — if these plants do open that we’ll be sending to the owners of the plants informing them of the law which says that an animal that is still protected under the act cannot be processed. And that they can call us if they need help identifying the freeze mark to see if that is a protected animal or not. There was something else I was going to say about that?

Sorry. I’ve forgotten that. The other piece — in a couple processing plants before, we did have agreements with them. They actually signed an aagreement with us that they would agree to do this. If these plants do open we will seek to have the same kind of agreement with these plant owners. The other piece of this is that because the plants — I think the plants that we’re opening were in New Mexico, Missouri, and — thank you.

My notes are in the other book, that our local field folks we would be giving them the contact of the local field folks to go in and work with them and help them so that we have local resources on the ground if any protected animals were to show up in places like that.

They may never open. They may open. But, if they do open, we’re ready and we know exactly what we’re going to do.

I wanted to update you as well on the ongoing investigation into the case for an individual named Tom Davis who was accused of selling, taking horses that we had sold to him over a period of years to — across the border I suppose to slaughter. That’s what the investigation was. We did an investigation, the BLM did and the office of the Inspector General took that investigation over and about two or three months ago they came and interviews, did live interviews which is part of their process and they told us then that we could get a report back from them in two weeks or two years. Apparently the track that they follow, it depends on what they learning in the interviews. So I can’t tell you how soon we know. But we look forward to getting that report and finding out what the answer was on this issue because it has been kind of hanging around as a cloud for quite a while.
>> Thank you for following that.

>> Definitely.

>> Appreciate it.

>> JOAN GUILFOYLE: You bet. Thanks. A couple things, I mentioned yesterday or the first day, I guess, we have an RFI that should be out this week called the request for information, which if we get funding for it in 2014, we will do a request for proposals and that is going to be on surgical chemical or pharmaceutical options for either contraception or permanent sterilization of male and female horses and burros in a research context. So I just wanted to remind you of that. As you know, we have been without a full time permanent research coordinator since April. Sam Gibbs has been filling in for us lately. But and has been doing great things but we can’t launch any research until we know we have funding to do that next year.

But we did put out this RFI which is very broad. We want to hear from anybody, any institutions universities, any companies who do this kind of work in contraceptives to give us their ideas and proposals or ideas at this point and hopefully a proposal later, I think you probably heard I think it was Holly hard or Stephanie I can’t remember which one yesterday expressed an interest in doing a he burro research project with us on the ground with PZP or PZP-22.

And that they’re still interested in that and that they have a donor who may be able to fund part of it. But again that will be when funding will be cobbled together before we can move forward on thatment I think evenings amed we were able to secure money and do have an agreement now with the USGS on doing the design of population surveys using the new methods which is what you have to do before you can conduct the new methods on the ground or in the air. So we’re happy to have that secured. Money has been moved and they will be able to help our field offices look at their HMA, the particulars of it, animals, geography, everything and come up which is the methods is the best one for that HMA which ties in directly to a lot of what they said to us about having good numbers, we completely agree. I wanted to mention a couple things about the off-range situation.

Right now we have over 50,000 of them in holding in various kinds of holding including short-term corrals and that amount has now hit 65 Hesser of our current budget. And of course you’ve heard this a million times those costs keep going up because people have other options to do with their hay and let animals graze on their land. So when we saw this number continuing to rise, I said and we formed a team, Alan and I formed a team to say we need to get a plan of what is a reasonable number to have as a cap or a target to have the trajectory start to go the other way? Because we can’t — as long as that money is locked up in caring and feeding of animals off range we don’t have money to mutt it on range which is where we would prefer it. So Alan organized a team of folks to look at the budget aspects, how do you move animals out of the shorter higher cost corral spaces into the more inexpensive long-term holding or eke sanctuaries or even inmate training programs. And I don’t have their final report yet but I’m very happy that we’re focusing on that. How do we get out from under this kind of fixed cost that we have in our program.

I was able to get somebody from the executive branch of the White House in — because she’s a horse person and she was very interesting in coming to detail with us temporary assignment for a year. Focusing all her time on the inmate training programs that we have already established in 6 or 7 places out west and taking those as a model and refining the model as practices and extending that program with prison because it’s such a win-win where you have people who are incarcerated with animals and need training it’s a beautiful match so how much we can extend that she’s been going great guns talking to the right organizations, getting a lot of interest from the people who are in correctional industries and we’re very excited about that as a way to move animals that are in some of the holding that are trainable age and moving them out of the holding into a training program so they can then be adopted.

She’s also doing a lot of exploring with DOD and with veterans equine therapy program. Same thing. People coming back from the wars who need psychological, physical, spiritual healing to get some of that by working with an animal like this. We’re very exciteed with that.

We continue our relationship with the mustang heritage association who does great things, training animals to be seen in the world and people understanding the value of them. So that tubs and also some of our offices are working with local partners to do things in a more local community. Buy in, these are our animals, help us get them adopted locally, those kinds of things. That’s exciting, but I think you did hear that the humane society and we are just about to sign — actually, we have signed it and they may have signed it by now, an MOU on burro adoptions which is great. I think there’s something like 1500 burros that need homes and there is a gather, a removal of burros — I can’t remember how soon it’s starting but it would be lovely if those animals could go into immediate homes or rescue group versus going into a holding situation, so we appreciate them working with us on that.

We also have the private ecosanctuary. We had another solicitation, we had some responses. The team went out and did look sees at the sites to see if they were suitable. We don’t have an answer yet on which of those might be awarded but those are good situations for us, we have the Wilson ranch in Wyoming that has started public tours of the animals on their property and it’s in a lower cost and short-term corral for sure and it does good things. It educates the public about the animals and we hope we can expand on that as well.

On-range, I don’t know how much you — and I’m trying to be mindful of the time here. We’re just going until 9:00 for sure and Roxie may show up. Okay. Good. Quickly, I guess I’ll say you know we released a summer removal schedule in June — excuse me, July 19th. And all of those animals, 1300 animals, all of those animals were selected or approved to be removed based on drought or declining conditions out there or the fact that animals were leaving the HMAs because of drought and declining conditions and moving on to private lands or roads and becoming a noise and animal in people’s backyards or a public safety issue when they’re trying to cross a highway and there are cars on the hoo I way.

All of those 1300 met that criteria. Shortly after that we got word that couple long-term contract pastures did not want to renew their options and we were going to have to find another place for those animals and that was originally reported to be something like 2800 animals and as it turned out it’s more like 15 or 1600, I believe, that are actually moving — being moved last week and this week. Am I right about that Alan? 1400, thanks. So that’s put a made us have to look at the summer removal schedule and we’ve been asking discussions with the ELT, executive leadership team of the BLM about this because it’s a national program and it’s a big issue when you look at if you can only remove animals that are public safety or nuisance and some that are in declining conditions, they’re probably with drought and climate change there probably will be more in declining condition and what do we do about that? And I wanted to engage leadership about that because it’s a big question for us. We want to care for these animals in the most humane way possible so how do we do that with our limitations of offering space.

I won’t talk much about the budget except to say it’s still an unknown for 2014 and if you have any questions in particular, holly could Hans them I’m sure. Sequestration is still in effect. And you know, it’s — we don’t know what it’s going to be, but we know we have this responsibility to care for the animals off range and that’s something we can’t cut. I don’t know what the final outcome of that is going to be. One thing I wanted to say to you all is that since we had a stakeholder meeting probably six months ago or so, which involved a lot of the people who were there on the September 5th one, the other agencies, I think we all became more aware of the magnitude of this situation, that is isn’t just our 179 HMAs but Forest Service has a lot of animals and I think Charlie mentioned what he thinks they would have in 10 years without some management the parks service and Fish and Wildlife Service certainly have animals which have not protected under the act but they certainly have them.

Also their population numbers are growing and then the tribes and we hopeeer going to hear from people who are — hope we’re going to hear from people who are from some tribes today. The es spat something like 150,000 on tribal lands. So there’s just — we think we’re the biggest place where they live but relatively speaking it is way bigger than us as well. So I think that’s an important thing to think about when we think about solutions we’ve been hearing about in terms of how to manage those numbers.

I guess the final things I just wanted to say were I continue to say I have to look at progress in this program going in the right direction because it’s a real tee challenging issue as I know you all know and people in this room know and people when watch online know. And as long as I feel like we’re doing that, that’s the best we can do is going in the right direction because it’s small steps. I was very encouraged by a lot of the comments that came out yesterday that were about finding common ground and we’d like to help and how can we work together and how can we be less divisive and things like that. That’s very encouraging to me.

I want to say, too, that I really do mean this when I say I appreciate not just the work of this board because you do bring the diversity of viewpoints to the table and you discuss things which I know we’re going to see in a little while here, but when the public sees an issue and asks questions about an issue, it really does help me and help us, I think, what is that issue? I think the shade is one of them that we didn’t dismiss, we didn’t say that’s crazy, we said let’s look at it. What is the research on it and what can we do about it and we are doing something about it. I think the numbers how you count the animals at the facilities that die there, I think that’s an important thing. I think we need national consistency on it. We need policy. We need to be clear about it. We’re not hiding anything.

So it may seem like small little things but I wanted to tell you about them because I think they are indicative that we are going in the right direction and if we weren’t, I still wouldn’t — I wouldn’t still be here. People do ask me still, even two years into this job, you have the hardest job in the BLM or your job is harder than two state directors combined and thank you for doing it and thins like that.

I’m will to do it and I appreciate your help and I’m looking forward to when I have the time to engage more with some of the human dimensions and socioeconomic pieces that the NAS supports where I actually could — we could have conversations that can lead us to the national conversation which I think is important about this that really needs to be had or we’re not going to get out of — we’re just going to be in the hole and not see progress and and that’s not why I’m here.

So I think with change is a big thing and I hope everyone understands you know, bureaucracies are changes change is slow and hard. Got a lot of people involved, things are slow. I think I work with people in the field are by and large they’ve been doing a good job, the best they could do in a very changing environment which is dizzying for some people, I consider them my colleagues and helpings make this change I’d like to think I can feel that way with more pecs of the public and NGOs, I feel that way with some of them already and that’s wonderful. We need to work to the and find common ground or we’re knotting go to be able to — not going to be able to solve it that’s my opinion. Do you have any questions? I can talk about the NAS if you want. Quick update.

>> JOAN GUILFOYLE: Just a quick question, going back to the burros we have in short-term holdings, it’s the first time in a long time the adoption market has not absorbed the burros, so my question is if you’re putting out the RFPs (Julie) have you thought about putting out long-term holding for burros and possibly looking at that down the road. In a perfect bolder we have all the money in the world to do what we want to do incorporating in that long-term holding the fertility studies and possibly the study on genetics as the NAS addressed yesterday?

>> JOAN GUILFOYLE: I thought there was interesting. I believe the long-term solicitations we do, Julie are for both species. So we just did reissue a process a contract for burros in Utah, Alan is there anything else that should be said about burro holding spaces? (off mic).

>> JOAN GUILFOYLE: Alan couldn’t be heard so I’ll do my best to repeat what he said. We did just finalize the contract with these folks in Utah. 500 head, is that what you said? Same location that we had them before and there was a competition. They had to compete and they still turned out to be the right place. But actually with humane society’s interest in burro adoptions and where the burros are being held off range and where they are on range, I asked Sally Spencer is working with the point person on humane society on that part.

To me it makes sense how to connect those things. So animals are transported as little distance as possible for economic reasons and you know, humane handling kind of reasons, you don’t want to subject them to more stress than necessary. So I think we’re trying to many could up with a network that would be effective for burros.

>> CALLIE HENDRICKSON: One question, when you talked about the processing plant, I believe that the form you fill out when you adopt a horse has a statement on there that said you will not — or you know, June) that you will not sell a horse to be killed. How is that going to be handed?

>> JOAN GUILFOYLE: It’s the same form, June. The form hasn’t changed when people do adopt an animal, they have to sign that they have no intention to use it for ill purposes. That subject the exact language but that’s the same thing you’re talking about. Same is true for the sales document. So people are still obligated to say that — and I’m going to get in dangerous ground unless I quote if exactly. So maybe I’ll ask if Sally or Dean want to give us the exact language. Is it commercial products? Is that what the exact language says.

>> Dean: Yes, that’s correct, Joan.

>> JOAN GUILFOYLE:

>> JUNE SEWING: How would you monitor that, that is even after you gain title to the horse, I know now especially in our area we do have an option facility. And you know, that the people from our local BLM do attend. The first auction of the month is used for horses. And you know to check if they have freeze brands on them so they can’t sell them.

>> JOAN GUILFOYLE: Alan supervises the person on point for this. Alan, can you answer June’s question about the sale barn and what we do there.

>> Alan: The — in several of the states we do visit — the sale barns to verify brands if they know horses show up. Not all places do because most of our adopters if they’re selling a horse it is a titled animal so it is a domestic animal at that point. So they’re under the regulation that they can sell that animal once they have title. But some of the facilities do contact our local specialist if they have a question or anything so you know, the requirement is they’re supposed to bring their title with them or proof of ownership of that animal. So they go forward with it. With the sale.

>> JUNE SEWING: You say they can do it when they have titles but isn’t that in conflict with what they sign? My take on that is regardless if they have titles, if they you know will sell it. Or process it.

>> JOAN GUILFOYLE: Maybe who is in charge of the program should answer it, Sally.

>> Sally: Once a horse has either gotten its title or is sold which means they get title immediately, they become private property. So when people are purchasing or adopting animals, we ask that they sign a document that says their intent is to provide humane care and not to sell the animal for horse products. But, if — once the animal is titled, it’s private property. And so it’s — it would be like having — I guess when people purchase a domestic horse, ideally they’re going to enjoy the horse and ride the horse and not sell the horse for commercial product. But, if a horse ends up at a sell barn, it’s private property.

>> JOAN GUILFOYLE: So this letter, June, is designed to have animals that are still protected under the act not be processed.

>> JUNE SEWING: Why do they have to sign that under their application if they can do whatever they want with it after they get title? I would say that’s .

>> We think in our discussions with our attorneys, June, and the board, that we’re doing everything we can to ensure their protections: Once a sale has occurred or title is transferred, are considered private property under the law. So some people don’t ever get title to the animals even though they’ve adopted them. Others do. As Joan said, we want them to have a long life and to ensure their safety. And the reason for the them signing that document we can sue people who misrepresented themselves and file false claims in those applications, law enforcement can pursue that and that’s part of what the IG is doing now looking at. But I don’t think that (ed Roberson) I don’t think that the Congress intended for the Bureau of Land Management to be responsible for every animal for their entire life. From now on based on what’s in the law because it does say we have to warn you when you adopt — clearly a legal matter but we’ve had a lot of discussions about this especially after this sale case.

>> It’s a double-edged sword. When you give title, let’s say we don’t give title to people who adopt a horse eventually (Boyd) they have the best of intentions. And I think it could actually affect even more negatively numbers of adoptions if there is no title to be given. So I think it could affect the number of horses adopted. People adopt with the best of intentions, say they pass away, illness in the family. They have to move where they don’t have room for the horses, I think there are situations later down the road, several years down the road where the family is going to — maybe the children or heirs would do something differently. It could be complicated to try to follow those pathways even though I think if you’re doing the best you can in a legal trance to make these — you know, people sign that document if you have someone adopting in larger volumes to have that situation, I think could be really tough on adoptions if no title were ever to be given and leaving that responsibility to the BLM. So I think the approach had isn’t ideal for everybody you about it’s the best situation we can come to because?

>> JUNE SEWING: But we do on our sanctuary, we do take those horses from people who say they can no longer support themselves for some reason but we do require title before we will take them. Boyd Spratling.

>> I’d like to add a point in clarity on this. What the individuals actually sign is an intent. So proving intent is very difficult to do. Somebody could actually sell an animal to a processing facility for whatever reason later on down the line, their intent though, we have to make sure that’s clear that they sign an intent clause. The entent clause is also nontransferable. So an individual who owns a private piece of property or an animal that has a title (Zach) can own that animal for a number of years, up to 10, 20, 30 years and transfer that or sell it to another individual as private property and the intent clause that they originally signed does not transfer with the animal so that second or third or fourth party. I wanted to add that as a point of clarity.

>> I got a little time.

>> JOAN GUILFOYLE: This is the reason I’m looking forward to us getting the Inspector General’s report because I would like clarity on this as well. They ask a lot of good questions about this when we were interviewed. So I’m looking forward to seeing what they say. We need to know what they say.

>> Question on the adoption program.

>> JULIE GLEASON: One question I want to ask because we discussed it in depth with members last night is the adoption program out east and storefronts. Have you had any conversations with Mustang Heritage Foundation regarding storefront or establishing location fors kiosk store storefronts and do you have a time frame for when to get those in place?

>> JOAN GUILFOYLE: I’m going to have to turn that over to Sally who has been the adoption lead in our conversations. I don’t know the answer to that.

>> Sally: We have had talks with the mustang heritage foundation about their adoption program over all. They’re in the process of putting to the a list of ideas they want for the 2014 project to figure out how it will best fit in with our adoption program. This is one of the things we’re looking at to see if it will be possible to do. We realize we will have to have ideational locations on the east coast where people can pick up horses because with all the budgetary items that are going on, it’s going to be more important that we find places that are closer for people to pick up. We’re not going to be able to do as many satellite aping dos as we’ve done. It’s just — there’s no money for that. So there aring go to be some changes, I think we’re going to focus on facility adoptions, Internet adoptions, working with partners like the Platero project with the humane society and Mustang Heritage Foundation and that’s I think what we’re going to have to do and just figure out how to get the animals where they need to be to be as efficient as possible.

>> JULIE GLEASON: I think that’s great. Looking at partners is a great solution, there’s a lot the partners who want to help get horses adopted and we heard that yesterday.

>> DR. BOYD SPRATLING: Thank you, Sally.

>> TIM HARVEY: Has any more conversation been given to something like milk run doing an Internet adoption and doing a delivery service to get horses east?

>> That’s going to be something added to the mix for this coming year that we’re going to be considering because we have to look and see how much money we have and how we’re going to get horses where they need to be. But the milk run is a great idea.

>> TIM HARVEY: I’m asking that again. It’s been a year and a half sense I first wrote that and gave it to you guys. And I’m constantly — I think that’s one of the number one issues that’s presented to me in regards to the adoption program for people out east is they can’t get sources. And I just find it mind numbing that the BLM is in the situation of stock piling 50,000 horses. There are people clamoring for horses and that there’s not a real priority given to putting a vehicle in place to get some of those horses out there. And when you — when it’s late on the budget or sequestration or whatever, it’s got to be cheaper to put 30 something horses in a have been and run them out east and drop them off to a new owner thatten than it is to continue to take care of them in holding. From a humane aspect I think they have a better chance of living a better life out somewhere where somebody is taking care of them individually. And I guess I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around it. I’m not spanking you guys. I know you guys are just so overwhelmed with everything. I understand that. But I guess when I’d like to see are some of these things that it seems like are a good answer for at least to at least do something about some of these horses. I would to see some more prioritization given to some of these tools.

>> Sally: Tim, you’re exactly right. We need to head that where to get the animals as inexpensively and effectively as possible to the areas where we can get adopters and the storefronts are one way to do it. To stay tuned.

>> JOAN GUILFOYLE: I’ll just add to that, Tim, Martha, who I don’t think is in the room. Hidden from view. She’s the person I mentioned on detail for the prison inmate training and DOD outreach. I specifically said to her and she’s working on the eastern gap because until we have infrastructure out here and until we make it easier for people, you’re exactly right. I think the market — a lot of the market for these animals is out here. And you’re on our list because of potential folks who might — that’s a good list — of the prison potential that you have up in New Hampshire, I think. So that was definitely — Zach has been her go-to person because he’s the agreements person and this is through agreements and paperwork, administratively you have to do it a certain way. That’s for Midwest and east to me, we’ve got to look at that. We have to and I’ve asked her to focus on that side of the country.

>> TIM HARVEY: The other thing. I talked to one of the things and this is part of the communication problem that I think exists inside of the BLM — is I just have seen — one of the complaints I hear constantly is lack of response from the eastern states office when when people are trying to do something. That needs to be addressed. It abeen put on the table. It’s another elephant in the room that the eastern states office is nonresponsive and doesn’t seem to get off their duff to take care of stuff when people are asking about things like this. There, I said it. Thanks.

>> Sally: Again, there’s — there’s a lot that BLM has to do. They have to wear so many hats. And I think if you can find partners and you can give some of that responsibility to partners that you trust and rely on, you know, that’s an important aspect. But again, it’s the trust that has to go both ways. You have to trust who you’re giving the horses to and they have to be able to trust BLM.

>> JOAN GUILFOYLE: That reminded me to say we did initiate internal program review with our branch of the BLM that does these kind of things, look at what we’re doing and evaluate from a performance and effectiveness and efficiencies and all those ways. Management services. Kathie is the lead for program view on the whole adoption program because we’ve never looked at it holistically and I did feel that we needed an external party to jump in and help us here. So that means that opens the door to kind of all the questions. Should it be a national program that is reason not by each of the states but run by someone under me? I don’t know if they’ll come up with that. But I recognize that there are differences in the way it’s done in the different states and that can be good and bad. We’re trying to have someone external look at it, tell us what it is and try to enact it. The only technology I wanted to say Kathie since we only have five minutes I have pictured of the shade structures up at Palomino valley so you can see what they look like and we can put them at the table at the end. Ed, did you want to say something? Are we good?

>> KATHIE LIBBY: We would very much like to welcome Roxie June who is a representative from the Navajo nation. And Roxie, I think I have a PowerPoint but I need to set it up. I haven’t had an opportunity to do that. Give me just a second.

The next presentation Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting on September 11, 2013 – Roxie June Navajo Nation Department of Agriculture Presentation – click HERE 

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