Update: on Tuesday I called the Director for Jarbidge and found there is a new person in the job. His name is Brian Davis and he has only been there since the middle of September. He came from STH. I asked him how many horses were removed from Saylor Creek in 2009, if any of the rounded up mares were pregnant and had any foals this spring. I also wanted to know how many of the Saylor Creek herd were adopted, if there were any still in STH in lieu of being released once the RMP is finalized or if the remainder were shipped to LTH and which facility? I also told him I have had problems finding the EA and if he knew where I could find it on the web would he send me a link to it. (I have searched the NEPA database for Jarbridge and didn't find it though its possible I made my search to narrow.)
I asked him why the Non Reproducing herd alternative was Preferred and he said he wasn't sure (he hadn't been there long) and started to say that they weren't sure how many horses the range could handle. I said if the draft RMP allowed for a non reproducing herd size of around 150 then surely the range could handle a viable herd of the same size with some controls for a stable population?
He seems like a reasonable person. He did say there was lots of discussion among the employees about the Preferred Alternative and that not everyone agreed with it. The RMP probably won't be finalized for many months and while it's too late to submit formal comments for the RMP, it might be possible for those who oppose the Preferred Alternative to call him and talk about concerns. I didn't get the feeling that he was at all defensive or unreasonable so reasonable people might call him and have a productive conversation.
Now, if he gets back to me with the information I wanted ... ....... ...... ......
This afternoon (Monday) I spoke with the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Specialist for the Jarbidge area. She is new to the job and didn't have any input into the RMP. She is, however, a little bit defensive, somewhat grumpy and acts like she will just do whatever they tell her. Good for her. We need more people like that at the BLM.
When I mentioned it seemed like a pretty top down process with the decisions coming from the top, the reply was that the RPM was "six years in the making" with input from employees, scientists, etc. They will issue the final decision once they finish going through the comments. I asked her why the Preferred Alternative was non-reproducing herd and she got very testy ... repeated she had nothing to do with the RMP process. Wasn't she even curious?
I guess we all need to remember that when we apply for jobs with the BLM. Don't ask questions, just do what you're told. I think this new WH&B specialist will be very successful there.