“In his own sniveling words” – Ben Masters
“My Term is up and I am STILL a DWEEB”
“Three years ago I was nominated to sit as the volunteer wildlife management chair for the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro program where I represented the interest of wildlife and wildlife habitat on 31.2 Million acres of our public land.
I fought for what I believed in, voted on unpopular decisions to euthanize excess horses, did my damndest to increase adoptions, tried to create more volunteer opportunities, and advocated for more equine birth control research and methods.
Ultimately, during my three years, the WH&B program has gotten more and more unsustainable with an ever increasing horse population and increasing impacts to native wildlife. To those of you who value native wildlife and healthy rangelands above all else, A part of me feels like I let you down.
My term as wildlife chair is ending and I’m disappointed in this current administration’s lack of desire to address this topic or to take outside advice from the advisory board. They cancelled our last meeting and Secretary Zinke never really responded to our recommendations.
I learned a great deal about people, about getting beaten up in the press, about how hard it is to change a big federal program, and how much easier it is to criticize a large federal institution rather than to actually get inside and try to change it. It saddens me that the WH&B program has gotten to the point where there’s 3X the target population size and literally no plan to slow the growth of the herds or the ecological impacts. It’s not the horses fault, it’s our own for mismanagement and for administration after administration for kicking the can down the road.
I’m grateful for the people I met, the public lands I got to visit, for the wildlife and horses I got to witness, and for the wildlife professionals who guided me through my volunteer term. I encourage all y’all to get involved in the issues you care about, both in the private sector and by getting involved in the system.
It ain’t easy but it’s worth it! And to all y’all that hadn’t adopted a mustang yet, there’s never been a better time! Training a wild horse is one of the most satisfying things you’ll ever experience.”