Three to Join BLM Wild Horse Advisory Board

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has announced today that the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture have made their selections to fill the three open positions on its nine-member National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board.

James French of Winnemucca, Nevada, was appointed for the category of natural resources management; Sue M. McDonnell, PhD, of West Chester, Pennsylvania, has been reappointed for the category of wild horse and burro research; and Fred T. Woehl, Jr., of Harrison, Arkansas, has been reappointed for the category of public interest (equine behavior).

Each will serve a three-year term on the Advisory Board.

The nine-member National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board advises the BLM, an agency of the Interior Department, and the U.S. Forest Service, part of the Agriculture Department, on the management and protection 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.

French has spent more than 40 years involved in the management of wildlife on public lands in north-central Nevada. Over the course of his career, including 32 years as a biologist with the Nevada Department of Wildlife, he developed a unique understanding of wild horse and burro issues and has worked with diverse groups to develop land management plans on county, state and federally-managed public lands. Since 2011, he has served on the Humboldt County Commission, the Nevada Association of Counties (NACO) Board of Directors, the National NACO Western Interstate Region Board of Directors, NACO Public Lands and Natural Resources Steering Committees (both state and national), the Humboldt River Water Authority Board of Directors, and the Nevada State Land Use Planning Council. He has contributed to the development of public lands policy, resource management plans and herd management plans for more than three decades. French has worked collaboratively with commissions in 16 counties, as well as the BLM, U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and government in six states.

McDonnell is a clinical associate and adjunct professor of reproduction and behavior at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, in Kennett Square. Also, as a certified applied animal behaviorist, she consults privately on equine behavior and welfare. McDonnell, who holds a PhD from the University of Delaware, co-edited the current leading academic book on horse behavior, The Domestic Horse: The Evolution, Development and Management of its Behavior, published by Cambridge University Press. She is also a regular contributor to The Horse magazine and TheHorse.com.

Woehl has been involved in the horse community for more than 43 years as a trainer, natural horsemanship clinician, and educator. He has been involved with the equine science department at the University of Arkansas, in Fayetteville, and taught equine science at North Arkansas College, in Harrison. He served as a volunteer for the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program for 10 years, conducting demonstrations of wild horse versatility and assisting with adoptions. Additionally, Woehl worked as a senior agricultural adviser for the U.S. State Department from October 2008 to November 2009 in Iraq, where he was responsible for the development and implementation of agricultural programs and policy for the Ninewa Province. From November 2009 to March 2011, he worked in the Kingdom of Jordan for the Department of Interior’s International Technical Assistance Program, where he developed policies for horse use and trained the local Bedouin tribesmen in humane methods of training and in the use of horses at the Archeological Park of Petra. Woehl currently has four BLM mustangs that are used for demonstrations in Branson, Missouri, and good-will visits at nursing homes, schools, and churches.

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