Sunday, August 29, 2010

Arizona Game and Fish Department comments on BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Strategy Development Document

AZ Game and Fish

Aug. 27, 2010

 Aug 27, 2010

AZGFD believes horse/burro management proposals should balance horse/burro protection needs with wildlife resource needs and meet the intent of the original Act; public can still submit comments through Sept. 3, 2010
The Arizona Game and Fish Department on Aug. 24, 2010, submitted written recommendations to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regarding the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Strategy Development Document, titled “Working Toward Sustainable Management of America’s Wild Horses and Burros.” The document identifies draft goals, objectives, and possible management strategies under consideration by the BLM to implement Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar’s Wild Horse and Burro Initiative.
The Department applauds BLM’s efforts to seek stakeholder input as it strives to develop a sustainable approach for managing wild horse and burro populations. As the state agency responsible for managing resident wildlife populations in Arizona, Game and Fish encourages the evaluation of wild horse and burro management in order to improve the management efficiency and effectiveness across the landscape.
However, the Department also believes that the original crafters of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act of 1971 (Act) wisely balanced measures to protect free-roaming horses and burros with measures to protect wildlife, habitats, rangeland resources, and private interests. Likewise, the Department believes that any new strategy developed for the management of wild horses and burros must require that the BLM and Department of Interior meet their fiduciary and statutory obligations to appropriately identify and mitigate for impacts to wildlife and wildlife habitat under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and other statutes, regulations, and legislation, as applicable.
Game and Fish wholly supports efforts to more effectively and efficiently manage horses and burros within the framework of the current Act. If designed and implemented appropriately, a new strategy could result in a more environmentally and economically sustainable horse and burro program. Conversely, an ill-designed program would result in an increasingly complicated and expensive program with devastating impacts to the long-term sustainability of the public’s fish and wildlife populations, their habitats, and associated recreation activities.
As a result, the Department is fully committed to helping the BLM develop a wild horse and burro management strategy that best meets the intent of the Act and the needs of wildlife resources throughout the West.
To submit comment:
Members of the public who have an interest in how America’s wild horses and burros are managed may submit comments to the BLM regarding its Wild Horse and Burro Strategy Development Document through Friday, Sept. 3, 2010.
Comments can be submitted either: (1) by e-mail to (please put “WHB Public Comment” in the subject line); (2) by mail to BLM Washington Office, 1849 C Street NW, Rm. 5665, Washington, DC 20240 (if mailing, comments need to be postmarked no later than September 3, 2010); or (3) using the ePlanning process accessible online at
For more information, including information on past Arizona Game and Fish Department testimony and Arizona Game and Fish Commission positions, visit

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