Horse News

Obama’s BLM Flips Off Wild Horse Advocates with New Board Appointees

Special Interests stay as Focal Points on BLM Advisory Board

Unedited BLM Press Release
Release Date: 05/16/11
Matt Spangler, 202-912-7414

The Bureau of Land Management announced today that it has made selections for three positions on the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. The BLM has selected Robert Bray, Ph.D., as a new appointee for the category of Wild Horse and Burro Research, James Stephenson as a new appointee for the category of Natural Resource Management, and Julie Gleason as a new appointee for the category of Public Interest (with knowledge of equine behavior).  These individuals will each serve three-year terms as members of the Advisory Board.

Robert Bray is Professor Emeritus of Animal and Veterinary Sciences at California State Polytechnic University. Dr. Bray, who lives in Woodstock, Virginia, conducted research and outreach/extension education programs with wild mustang herds for 15 years while a professor. He has 46 years of experience with horses, including management of three horse farms, as well as the owning, breeding, and showing of horses. Dr. Bray replaces Dr. Vernon Dooley.

James Stephenson has been a big game biologist with the Yakima Nation in south-central Washington State for the past eight years. Besides managing big game populations, Stephenson is responsible for overseeing the reservation’s wild horse herd. In that capacity, he wrote a comprehensive plan for wild horse management on the reservation. Stephenson was raised in eastern Oregon, where he grew up working on cattle and sheep ranches and participating in wild horse roundups in the Alvord Desert and Harney County.  Stephenson replaces Dr. Wayne J. Burkhardt.
Julie Gleason has served as wild horse and burro representative to the Resource Advisory Council (RAC) for the Mojave Southern Great Basin for the past five years. During that time, she worked with BLM’s Las Vegas Field Office to secure funding for the development of a virtual adoption program, Mustang Makeover events, and trainer incentive programs. Prior to joining the RAC, Gleason was a member and chair of the Nevada Wild Horse Commission for the Preservation of Wild Horses. While with the commission she helped develop the Wild Horse Inmate Training facility in Carson City, Nevada. Gleason replaces Renee Taylor.
The nine-member National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board advises the BLM and the USDA Forest Service on the management, protection, and control of wild free-roaming horses and burros on public lands and national forests administered by those agencies, as mandated by the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. Members of the board, who represent various categories of interests, must have a demonstrated ability to analyze information, evaluate programs, identify problems, work collaboratively, and develop corrective actions.

The BLM manages more land – over 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.


Washington Office Division of Public Affairs   1849 C Street N.W.      Washington, DC 20420

12 replies »

  1. R.T.

    Are these appointments going in our favor or again in the opposite direction? I would hope that these individuals would work closely with us in securing a safe revision to their thinking, returning as many as possible to their home ranges, and those that are not returned, an adoption program be established where they can be adopted to good families. I think training would help and maybe those taking the wild horses would then have a good horse with no chance, hopefully, of turning the horse in for whatever reason. I hope we are starting to see favor in our direction.


  2. How much difference do these people really make?… powerful are their decisions?…..Who do they answer to?…Should we really give them the time of day?….Does it really make a difference?….My personal feelings after attending a BLM advisory board meeting in Arlington was that they are there to act like they care……but whatever we say doesn’t make a hill of beans to the process…….Should we really take the time and energy to talk to them ?…What would happen if nobody showed up at their meetings?……Just wondering….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Seems like the BLM cherry picked obscure people none of the horse advocates even know. Over at least one candidate who has worked extensively with, and owns BLM wild horses, traveled to many roundups and would’ve been an excellent choice. No “NEW DIRECTION” here. What a farce! Think any of these new Board members will ever show up to a roundup? The ONLY Board member to ever show up at a roundup, to my knowledge, was Tim O. Harvey, who went to Twin Peaks for about a week. (Thank you, Tim.) It would’ve been great if one of the Board members could’ve been at a winter roundup.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. They are not there to benefit the horses, but their new jobs and the Administration who hired them.

    Undoubtedly, more propaganda and biased, untruthful statements and findings.

    More costly salaries only to promote Obama’s plans and to continue this Administration’s and it’s funding corporation’s destruction of nature’s and our country’s beautiful wild horses and what natural land that is left on this continent.

    Hope is a lie and a huge unscrupulous conglomerate, of this I am certain!


  5. Are these paid position? I had understood that they are volunteer positions.

    Were any of our known advocates under consideration for any of these three positions?

    Seems like they would have loved to have one of our well-educated, well-informed, highly experienced people on board to help make rational, intelligent, reasonable decisions. Oh wait, this is BLM we’re talking about. Never mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your right about this being the BLM! But I do believe that Craig Downer was or did apply. I thought I’d heard he was thinking about getting on a board. But of course they will not ask him. Their loss! We will just have to keep gathering members and put more pressure on them to do the right thing for our American horses. Especially since we will not stop until they are safe to roam free where they should be.


  6. On the brighter side – doesn’t this see the back end of Larry ‘Gotta Save the Big Horns So’s We Can Kill ‘Em’ Johnson kicked curbside??

    That, in itself, might be worth the trouble of initiating these three.


  7. If this Advisory Board is the defining guidance for the Wild Horse and Burro program, then as “interested parties”, we are the stock holders.
    The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board assists and advises the Secretary of the Interior, through the Bureau of Land Management, and the Secretary of Agriculture, through the U.S. Forest Service, on wild horse and burro issues.


  8. I have known Tim Harvey for years when he lived in Rhode Island and emailed him the particular thread. Here is his response:

    Hi Marge,
    I do not know any of the folks appointed so obviously cannot offer an opinion as to their qualifications, etc. I will meet them at the next meeting I assume. I do know of at least 2 others that applied for the public interest/horse behaviorist spot who I would have liked to see appointed to the board. Let’s hope they are supporters of our Mustangs!


  9. My response to the choices (still needing to do more research mind you) was “eh, at least Dr. Burkhardt and that she-witch Taylor are gone”. Both of them are real pieces of work and were easily the most infuriating board members still around in Phoenix. I only say of the ones in Phoenix because Larry Johnson… yeah, he is not missed. *shudder*


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