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National Academy of Sciences nominates wild horse committee members

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The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has released the names of 14 committee members nominated to review the management practices of Bureau of Land Management's (BLM's) beleaguered Wild Horse and Burro Program.

Under pressure from Congress and considerable public criticism, Bob Abbey, BLM director, announced in September of 2010 that the National Research Council, a division of NAS, would be contracted for the review. Contract details were finalized and the contract awarded just this summer.

According to Tom Gorey, BLM Senior Public Affairs Specialist, the NAS/NRC contract comes at a cost of 3 million dollars and is expected to take two years for completion.

NAS/NRC web site information notes, "... the appointments made to this committee are provisional, and changes may be made... No appointment shall be considered final until we have evaluated relevant information bearing on the committee's composition and balance." The site also states, " A committee is not finally approved until a thorough balance and conflict of interest discussion is held at the first meeting and any issues raised in that discussion or by the public are investigated and addressed."

The first scheduled meeting will take place October 27-28 in Reno, Nevada. Though public attendance is allowed at some NRC meetings, it is as yet unclear if the public will be permitted to sit in on this initial meeting.

Public Comments regarding committee make up will be accepted until September 26, 2011. Nominee biographies and a link to the feedback form can be found here.

Nominated committee members include

  • Dr. Guy Palmer - Washington State University
  • Dr. Cheryl S. Asa - St. Louis Zoological Park
  • Dr. Eric A Beever - U.S. Geological Survey, Bozeman
  • Dr. Michael B. Coughenour - Colorado State University
  • Dr. Lori S. Eggert - University of Missouri
  • Dr. Robert Garrott - Montana State University
  • Dr. Lynn Huntsinger - University of California, Berkeley
  • Dr. Linda E. Kaloff - Michigan State University
  • Dr. Paul R. Krausman - University of Montana
  • Dr. Madan K. Oli - University of Florida
  • Dr. Steven Petersen - Brighan Young University
  • Dr. David M Powell - Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronz Zoo
  • Dr. Daniel L Rubenstein - Princeton University
  • Dr. David S. Thain - University of nevada, Reno

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