Horse News

Obama Administration Names Wildlife Rookie to Sensitive Wild Horse Post

Story by Steven Long ~ Author and Publisher of “Horseback Magazine

Limited Equine Experience Clouds WH&B Boss Selection

HOUSTON, (Horseback) – The federal Bureau of Land Management has named a 30 year agency bureaucrat with virtually no wildlife management training to head the delicate Wild Horse and Burro Program. Karla Bird has drawn fire in the past for her support of secret closed door BLM meetings where the press is excluded.

“By not having the public there, we don’t have anybody feeling weird that their comments are taken out of context or misconstrued,” Bird, field manager for the Worland BLM office spun the Billings Gazette. She told reporters such meetings were “pre decisional,” using what must be a new term in the BLM lexicon for secrecy.  The bureau sometimes holds such meetings among its managers. On occasion their discussions leak to the press causing the BLM embarrassment, as happened with the draft of a plan to kill tens of thousands of wild horses which was leaked in 2009 to the Associated Press.

After a firestorm of protest about the proposed mass euthanasia, the BLM is now capturing wild horses by the thousands in helicopter stampedes in which record numbers have died. The animals are then held in giant pastures. The stampedes have been held in bitter cold and searing summer heat. They have also been conducted during foaling season. The program has gobbled up virtually the entire budget of the Wild Horse and Burro Program.

Bird replaces Don Glenn, whose tenure in the posts ended after a quiet retirement announcement late this week. There is speculation he was forced out after intense media scrutiny of the program.

Karla Bird is the Field Manager at the BLM’s Worland Field Office in Wyoming

“She will be on a 90-day detail as the Acting Division Chief of the Wild Horse and Burro Program,” said BLM Chief Washington Spokesman Tom Gorey. There is no hint whether her new job replacing the controversial Glenn will be made permanent.

Bird previously served the BLM in various capacities in Rawlins and Rock Springs, according to a 2009 press release announcing her installation at Worland.

Click (HERE) to Read the Story in it’s Entirety

16 replies »

  1. When I heard of Glenn’s retirement I figured they would replace him with someone without experience so that they could feed them only the information that they wanted them to know. Also they could place someone without a huge in place support system. This way they can puppet the decisions coming from the “top”. By placing Karla in this position they have shown they are going to continue to protect the blm’s policy of secrecy. This is the same sort of slap in the face that Obama gave us when he put Salazar as head of DOI.


  2. Just looked her up on FB. No comments on anything about animals, except, she likes to shoot Deers in Wyoming & fish as well as backpack.
    Let’s think Positive though closed door meetings DO NOT sound good….


  3. If she’s made an “acting director” that spells trouble. Acting directors of agencies are usually just puppets/placeholders for higher ups that want to drive a certain agenda, but also want to have plausible deniability. OSHA and MSHA were good examples under the Bush administration. I had EXTENSIVE experience with the dysfunctionality of OSHA, and we all know what has happened with mine safety in this country.

    It will be interesting to see what happens when the 90 days are up.


    • I have a feeling Karla will deeply regret having taken this position. I look for a lot of really quick, underhanded dealings coming rapid fire in the next 90 days. I hope Karla got a lot of good sleep in the last few days, it might be the only sleep she gets in the foreseeable future.


  4. Karla Bird must have a trail behind her of her associated actions regarding equines wherever she has worked. I would hope that anyone having access to this information would pass it on to those that have worked so hard to save our wild horses. If the information is bad, it needs to be published so outrage can start against her from the advocates for our horses. It seems that the BLM looks under rocks for all their employees.


  5. Karla Bird will do whatever she is told. She will be a puppet for the BLM. These poor mustangs have nobody
    to stand up for them. Alot of people like me have concerns over what happens to them, but i guess the idots at the BLM make the rules, and just don’t care what the general population of Americans have to say. This is probably the last bit of the great American West that we have left, and the government can’t wait to destroy it. Just like they have done with everything else they put their fingers on. I have watched a great many documented films about wild mustangs. Ever see a cow in them? Neither have I. There is enough room for all.


  6. If you listen to rumor, Check the employee records for BP for Karla’s name. Rumor also has it, she has ties somehow to Salazar himself. I wouldn’t trust this woman for 30 seconds of a horses life. She is a plant, not someone they picked up off the street and hired.


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