Unaltered BLM Press Release – LIVE LINK
Release Date: 12/03/10
Contacts: Tom Gorey , 202-912-7420
Statement of BLM Director Bob Abbey on “Summit of the Horse”
The Department of Interior and the BLM have already removed from the discussion table any consideration of the euthanasia of healthy wild horses and the unlimited sale of older horses, even though these legal authorities exist under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, as amended. Having taken the position that slaughter is not a viable or acceptable management option, I will focus my remarks on the present and future course of the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program, which the BLM is committed to putting on a sustainable track, as called for by the Government Accountability Office in a report issued in October 2008. I am also open to discussing new management approaches, and have already had talks with Madeleine Pickens regarding a possible wild horse ecosanctuary.
I recently met with wild horse advocates in Sacramento, California, including representatives of the Humane Society of the United States and the Cloud Foundation. I have demonstrated a willingness to discuss the BLM’s management of wild horses and burros with any organization interested in ensuring the health and welfare of wild horses and burros, both on and off the range. Some of these organizations take conflicting positions on what is the best way to manage wild horses and burros, but that is to be expected and welcomed in a nation known for free and open dialogue on controversial issues.
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.
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