Job Listing: Wild Horse & Burro Monitoring Technician

Nevada mustang © Carl Mrozek

Nevada mustang © Carl Mrozek

The Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management Mount Lewis Field Office, is recruiting one rangeland ecologist, wildlife biologist, or botanist to conduct upland monitoring across the public lands. The Monitoring Technician will work cooperatively as part of a multi-disciplinary rangeland monitoring team. The overall objective is to collect and compile monitoring data within Wild Horse and Burro Herd Management Areas including but not limited to utilization, nested frequency, rangeland health indicators, water availability/condition, and wild horse or burro body condition. The Monitoring Technician may also be required to work as part of other monitoring teams collecting riparian or wildlife data or vegetation data for fire rehabilitation monitoring.

General duties include planning for and completing monitoring within Wild Horse and Burro Herd Management Areas working either alone or in cooperation with the Mount Lewis Field Office Wild Horse and Burro Specialist or other staff member, including other Monitoring Technicians. Monitoring will require adherence to Bureau of Land Management Technical References, use of digital cameras, and detailed documentation of field observations. The incumbent will be responsible for compilation of data, labeling digital photos and analyzing and display of data using GIS (ArcMap). GBI is seeking an associate to fill the monitoring technician position that will perform the following duties:

Wild Horse and Burro Monitoring – The Monitoring Technician will be responsible for documenting wild horse and burro body condition on the range under established BLM Protocol (Henneke Condition Scoring). The monitoring will also involve the documentation of animal presence and movement patterns, and habitat quality and quantity including rangeland health indicators and water availability/condition. The Technician may assist with collecting data for wild horse and burro NEPA documentation and assisting with gathers.
Plant Identification – plant and plant community identification, including the ability to use vegetation identification keys to properly identify upland range plants common throughout the Great Basin. Responsible for the identification of individual plants, describing existing and potential plant communities using soil survey and ecological site description information.
Soil Identification – Has exposure to identification of soils, and is able to use of soil surveys in order to determine soils grouped into the site, identify landscape and soil factors, and determine existing or potential erosional factors. This information would be utilized to aid in determining site potential and evaluation of current conditions.
Upland Monitoring Studies – Utilizing plant and soil identification skills, the Monitoring Technician will be responsible for conducting upland monitoring studies under established BLM protocol. Monitoring could include but is not limited to Utilization, Use Pattern Mapping, Ecological Site Inventory, Cover and Density techniques.
Location: Battle Mountain, NV is located ~220 miles east of Reno, NV and ~300 west of Salt Lake City, UT along Interstate 80. Battle Mountain and the surrounding area (pop. ~4,000) is predominantly rural; situated in the high desert (~4,500 ft. elevation) where ranching/mining are the local economic drivers. The Mount Lewis Field Office within the Battle Mountain District Office is responsible for managing approximately 4.5 million acres of public land typically of basin-and-range topography with Great Basin Desert/sage brush steppe ecotype.

Compensation & Timeline:

Rate of Pay – $16.00/hour
Medical benefits (health and dental)
Start Date: May 18, 2015 (or upon availability) – November 20, 2015, with potential for extension pending funding and a favorable performance review
Full time, 40 hours per week

Applicants should have a combination of educational and field experience related to the position of interest (degree in Rangeland Management/Sciences, Wildlife, Ecology, Botany or other similar degree), including an understanding of basic principles related to the fields of botany, soil science, and/or livestock science; knowledge of Great Basin ecology, preferable; knowledge and ability to use various monitoring techniques to determine range vegetation and animal condition (e.g. utilization, nested frequency, rangeland health indicators, water availability/condition, wild horse body condition); knowledge and ability to identify rangeland vegetation and the functional aspects of rangeland ecology, riparian condition; and livestock and equine health); experience working with ArcGIS, desirable (includes ability to analyze and display data using ArcMap); ability to work independently and within a team environment; applicant should have good organizational skills; ability to navigate and collect data using handheld GPS units, required; ability to use a compass and read a topographical map; possess a clean, valid, state-issued driver’s license and ability to operate a 4WD vehicle on- and off-road; ability to communicate effectively, both written and orally, with a diverse audience; be physically fit to work outdoors, carry personal and field equipment, and withstand the rigors of the Great Basin in the summer, fall and/or early winter.

Successful applicant(s) must complete a Department of Interior (DOI) Background Investigation (BI) or submit paperwork to BLM human resources indicating an active and fully adjudicated BI has already been completed prior to beginning position.

How to Apply: Qualified and interested applicants should forward a cover letter, their résumé, and a list of three professional references to Amy Gladding, GBI HR Coordinator, at Please include where you found this position posted. Incomplete applications will not be considered. No phone inquiries, please.

We conform to all the laws, statutes, and regulations concerning equal employment opportunities and affirmative action. We strongly encourage women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans to apply to all of our job openings. We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, age, disability status, Genetic Information & Testing, Family & Medical Leave, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We prohibit Retaliation against individuals who bring forth any complaint, orally or in writing, to the employer or the government, or against any individuals who assist or participate in the investigation of any complaint or otherwise oppose discrimination.

Cross-posted from The Great Basin Institute:

Championing public comment and wild horses in court


PM Pine Nut 332 90K meme

Pine Nut wild horse roundup is on hold

In response to a lawsuit filed Jan.26 by Friends of Animals (FoA) and Protect Mustangs against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the roundup of wild horses and forced drugging of mares planned by the government agency in the Pine Nut Herd Management Area (HMA) of Nevada has been halted at least until Feb. 17.  The court has set Feb. 9 as the hearing date for FoA and Protect Mustangs to make their preliminary injunction motion.


Links of interest™

Plaintiffs Motion for  Preliminary Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining Order  PM Mot. Preliminary Inj._Pine Nut HMA_vfinal-2

Declaration of Cassandra Nuñez: PM Nunez_Decl _Final

Declaration of Craig Downer: PM Downer Decl_Pine Nut Roundup_Final

Declaration of Anne Novak:  Novak Decl _Pine Nut Round-up_signed

Declaration of Nicole Rivard: PM Rivard Decl._Signed_Pine Nut roundup

Complaint filed in court January 26, 2015: PM Complaint_As Filed_Pine Nut

Lawsuit targets Nevada wild horse roundup (USA TODAY)

Jan. 26th Press release: Protect Mustangs & Friends of Animals file lawsuit to stop Pine Nut Mountains roundup:

Wild-horse activists kicked out of federal meeting in Nevada, (Associated Press) went viral:

Activists split on US agency”s plans to treat 250 mares with fertility-control drug in Nevada:

Forum on PZP:

EPA Pesticide fact Sheet for PZP:

Protect Mustangs on Facebook:

ProtectMustangs on Twitter:

Anne Novak on Twitter:

A brief history of wild horses in the news:


The law was made to protect mustangs & burros so why all the abuse?

Wild horses and burros are supposed to be treated as “components of the public lands”. 16 U.S.C. § 1333(a) The law is clear that “wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death” and entitled to roam free on public lands where they were living at the time the Act was passed in 1971. 16 U.S.C. § 1331 These legally protected areas are known as “herd areas,” and are defined as “the geographic area identified as having been used by a herd as its habitat in 1971.” 43 C.F.R. § 4700.0-5(d).


The Wild Free Roaming Horse & Burro Act also authorizes designation of specific ranges for wild horses and burros. “Range’ means the amount of land necessary to sustain an existing herd or herds …and which is devoted principally but not necessarily exclusively to their welfare in keeping with the multiple-use management concept for the public lands”. 16 USCS §§ 1332(c), 1333(a). ~Animal Law Coalition



Why is the Bureau of Land Management (BLM),–the agency responsible for the care and welfare of wild horses and burros–allowed to break the very law enacted to protect our native wildlife and heritage animals?

If you don’t like the photos taken by witness and filmmaker Stephanie Martin at the Owyhee Roundup then please meet with your senators and representatives to ask them to stop the abusive roundups.

Is there really an overpopulation problem?

It’s long overdue for an independent and accurate wild horse and burro census for each Herd Management Area (HMA). BLM’s population estimates are only that–estimates. It’s easy to count cows as horses from the air and double count horses as they roam from area to area.

If there really is an overpopulation problem then using fertility control drugs on non-viable herds or sterilizing herds will be a disaster. Why? This would ruin their gene pool and result in inbreeding. Mother nature has a ‘survival of the fittest’ program in place that ensures only the strong, healthy and wise reproduce.

Current thriving natural ecological balance studies on the range are necessary. For decades wild horses have been scapegoated for the damage created by livestock–especially to fragile riparian areas. Cattle enjoy standing in riparian areas all day whereas wild horses come for a drink and leave for the rest of a day. Princeton University has proven wild herds reverse desertification so livestock benefits from more abundant forage.

The Appropriate Management Levels (AML) for wild horses and burros were set by the Government. The Cattlemen are a wealthy lobbying force in Washington. It’s no surprise that cattle outnumbers wild horses on the range at least 50 to 1 on HMAs throughout the West.

Currently the BLM uses archaic methods of range management which allow livestock grazing methods that are harsh on the land, a wide use of pesticides and extraction industry pollution. The range is being destroyed. Removing wild horses is the wrong action because the native equids can heal the range and reverse desertification.

What’s wrong with roundups

Helicopter roundups are harsh on the environment. Chasing wild horses creates unnatural stampedes zigzagging over 10-15 mile areas many times per day for many weeks. This ruins the high desert environment and disturbs species such as the sage grouse.

Rounding up more federally protected native wild horses than they can adopt out fails as a management technique. Wild horses and burros end up stockpiled in holding facilities at taxpayer expense. After the cruel roundups, wild horses loose what is most precious to them–their families and their freedom.


Using Range Design, which includes Allan Savory’s Holistic Rangeland Management, is a viable solution for today’s range issues. More wild horses and burros should be allowed on the range to reverse desertification, reduce fuel for wildfires and create biodiversity. This ultimately improves rangeland grazing for livestock.

“Holistic Management using native wild horses, heritage burros and livestock should be used for rangeland programs across the West,” explains Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “It’s a win-win that works to heal the land, reverse desertification and reduce global warming”

It’s only getting worse

Here is a video message about the American wild horse crisis in February 2010. The numbers are bigger now with 53K wild horses in holding and perhaps 15K left on the range.

Thank you Arlene Gawne and team for bringing this YouTube message to the public.

In 2009, 2010 and 2011 we all tried to help The President understand the need to save the mustangs. Sadly he appears to want The New Energy Frontier above and beyond anything else.

If you don’t like what’s going on then contact your representatives and senators because they are your voice in government. Congress funds the rotten Wild Horse and Burro Program under the Bureau of Land Management.

Request a Congressional investigation, forensic accounting and a moratorium on roundups as well as fertility control until the truth comes out that there are hardly any wild horses left out on America’s public land.

This year the EPA passed a fertility control pesticide for use on America’s wild horses and burros. Our indigenous horse has been formally labelled a “pest” by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. We want the erroneous classification reversed. Pests and invasive species are weeded out and disposed of . . .  Why did the EPA sell out?

(Photo © Cat Kindsfather, all rights reserved)

Stop the roundups and the extermination!