The BLM is now planning to do a “knowledge and values study” on wild horses & burros using focus groups. The focus groups are to include the usual special interest groups (the same ones that are so vocal against wild horses & burros on the BLM Resource Advisory Councils/RACs).
Most of us aren’t perusing the Federal Register on a daily basis, but an advocate alerted us to the notice below. We should all ask WHO will APPOINT/SELECT the people who will take part in these focus groups. The BLM proposes to have “guides” (a prepared agenda) for the groups, presumably to limit the topics you can talk about. The questions/discussions will then likely be designed to lead you to whatever predetermined outcome the BLM wants. Read HERE about the BLM and use of the Delphi Technique.
This is not free speech. Will the topics include the delay of the issuance of the investigation report of the 1,700 wild horses Tom Davis bought? Will the focus groups be updated on the current number of deaths of wild horses at the BLM’s Scott City, Kansas feedlot? Will the participants be able to review any vet reports or necropsy reports from the Scott City feedlot?
This undemocratic process seems to be a way for the BLM to feign interest in listening to the public, while in reality, it continues its efforts to contrive what could seem to the public to be some sort of a consensus.
I wonder if the BLM will ever have focus groups or advisory councils on wild horse & burro issues that are composed ONLY of real wild horse & burro advocates, who all care about the welfare of the wild horses and burros (instead of special interest “stakeholders” who focus on how to get rid of them). The comment period for this proposed focus group farce ends May 11, 2015. This is destined to be another unscientific “study” as the BLM continues to operate like a dog chasing its tail. – Debbie Coffey