Sunday, December 28, 2008

BLM Opens Nominations for Advisory Board

There has been much talk about the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. In 2007 the BLM accepted more than 50 nominations for the 2008 vacancies on the board. A year later and long after the current appointments expired, no appointments have been made. Not only that, but the Board has met and voted on controversial subjects with the former appointees voting as thought their appointments were valid and not expired.

Why this is happened is subject to some debate. When questioned the answers vary widely. One response was that all of the nominations were "lost". Another response was that the USDA was holding the files and hadn't released them back to the BLM. (The Advisory Board reports to the Secretary of the Interior, Director of the BLM, Chief of the Forestry Service and the Department of Agriculture.) Another answer is that all nominees were rejected and the sitting members have been reappointed. Still another answer is that the appointees sit on the board at the discretion of the Secretary of the Interior and the terms have been extended until new appointments are made. Whatever the excuse, and none of these are acceptable, the Board should not have met until proper appointments were made.

In late 2009 3 more appointments expire. The BLM is calling for nominations for the postions of Wildlife Mangement, Humane Advocacy and Livestock Management. The deadline for nominations is 17 February 2009 and individuals and organizations may nominate one or more individuals that they feel are qualified to fill the positions open.

To nominate an individual you must submit a nomination letter(s) plus resume that include the nominee’s name, address, profession, relevant biographical information, references, endorsements, and specific category of interest.

The key here is that they are asking for ENDORSEMENTS. This means that each nominee should be endorsed by a professional organization from the field in which they are going to serve. In the last round of nominations we recommended that several nominees be put forward and we again recommend this plan of action for the Humane Advocacy postion. However, these nominees should be supported by an organization which will make this a little more difficult. I (Shelley Sawhook) have been asked to be a nominee for the position and any organization or individual who would like to nominate me will need to email me directly at for my resume. If anyone would like to endorse me as a nominee please contact me as well so my resume can properly reflect that information.

If you choose to nominate another individual I highly suggest that organizations decide on their nominee quickly to ensure that your nomination is received in plenty of time. If you are an individual seeking a nomination that you seek out endorsement early to be seriously considered for the position. February seems like a long way off, but paperwork can cause delays and you don't want all your work to have been done in vain.

Nominations should be sent by February 17, 2009, to the National Wild Horse and Burro Program, Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior, P.O. Box 12000, Reno, Nevada 89520-0006, Attn: Ramona DeLorme, or fax: (775) 861-6618. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may contact Ms. DeLorme at any time by calling the Federal Information Relay Service at 1–800–877–8339.