Three nominees have been submitted by the American Sheep Industry Association for appointment to the National Wildlife Services Advisory Committee: Dan Dawson of Oregon, Burdell Johnson of North Dakota and Catherine (Cat) Urbigkit of Wyoming.
“As Wildlife Services is vitally important to ASI, and there are multiple seats available, we support and encourage a seat for all three nominees,” wrote ASI President Mike Corn in support of the nominations. “Each understands the lethal and non-lethal options of mitigating the damage to food production from wildlife, as well as being landowners providing critical habitat for wildlife. Each nominee is an experienced communicator with the non-agriculture sector of American society, as well as very familiar with difficulties facing farm and ranch families in making a living from their land and livestock.”
Dawson of Roseburg, Ore., has been involved in sheep production for 17 years, owning nearly 1,000 acres, leasing 3,500 acres, and running lambs, ewes, rams and angora goats. His business experience includes shearing sheep, ranching, wildland fire fighting, mill production and hunting guide. Dawson was secretary of the Oregon Sheep Commission, a member of Mountain States Lamb and Douglas County Farmers co-ops, and a board member of Farm Credit Services.
Johnson of Tuttle, N.D., has been in the sheep industry for 40 years and maintains 6,000 acres with crop and livestock. His business experience includes farming, ranching and insurance sales (including LRP-Lamb insurance). Johnson has been serving as a member of the Wildlife Services Advisory Committee.
Urbigkit of Pinedale, Wyo., has been involved in sheep production for 20 years, owning a small flock of Rambouillets. Her business experience includes freelance writing, serving as the owner/editor of The Shepherd magazine since 2012, and she has been an officer of the Sublette County Predatory Animal Damage Management Board for 20 years. Urbigkit has been a member of ASI and the Wyoming Wool Growers Association for 10 years.
“As president of ASI, I wish to relay the enthusiastic support of our organization for these nominees to the National Wildlife Services Advisory Committee,” Corn wrote.
The committee advises USDA on activities, policies, program issues and research needed to conduct operations for Wildlife Services, a program within USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The committee also serves as a public forum enabling those affected by the Wildlife Services program to have a voice in the program’s policies. Nineteen new members will be selected with the goal of obtaining the broadest possible representation on the committee. Committee members may serve up to three consecutive terms.