Eastern States Field Office
Location: Washington, D.C.
Start Date: June 3, 2018
End Date: August 18, 2018
Related Degrees: Animal Science, Agricultural Business, Agricultural Marketing, Agricultural and Life Sciences Education, Agricultural Studies and/or Communication Studies, etc.
Position Description: The Bureau of Land Management’s Eastern States State Office administers that national wild horse and burro online corral (OLC). The OLC is a web-based system that replaces our existing Adopt A Horse website. The OLC’s primary focus is simplifying the online adoption or purchase process for both the public and BLM internal users. The Resource Assistant Internship project would include refining the draft policy and guidance associated with the newly released OLC and developing an outreach and public education program to promote the OLC to new and existing users.
Background: The Bureau of Land Management created the Wild Horse and Burro Program to implement the Wild-Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, passed by Congress in 1971. Broadly, the law declares wild horses and burros to be “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West” and stipulates that the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service have the responsibility to manage and protect herds in their respective jurisdictions within areas where wild horses and burros were found roaming in 1971.
To maintain wild horses and burros in good condition and protect the health of our public lands, the BLM must manage the population growth of wild horse and burro herds. Without natural population controls, such as predation, herd can increase at a rate of up to 20 percent annually, doubling in size in just 4 to 5 years, if not appropriately managed. Population control must be implemented to protect scarce and fragile resources in the arid West and ensure healthy animals.
To carry out this mission, the BLM controls herd growth through the application of fertility measures, such as birth control, and through the periodic removals of excess animals and the placement of those animals into private care through our Adoption and Sales Programs as well as successful partnerships with organizations across the nation. Many have found it personally challenging and rewarding to adopt or purchase a wild horse or burro. It is a chance to care for, and then own, a part of America’s heritage.
The BLM has placed more than 240,000 wild horses and burros into private care since 1971. In fiscal year 2017 we placed over 4,000 animals into private care, approximately 400 of those were through our internet adoption and sales program. The improvements to the site should greatly increase the number of animals we place.