Code of Conduct

The Free-roaming Equid and Ecosystem Sustainability Network (FREES) is committed to facilitating open dialogue and building positive relationships that engage the partners in collective actions to ensure the health of free-roaming equids (i.e., wild horses and burros), western rangeland ecosystem health and sustainability and the principles of multiple-use.  All FREES participants share the responsibility to engage all others in a respectful manner.  All FREES participants are thus encouraged to seek opportunities to work with others who might have different perspectives or experience regarding the management of free-roaming equids and lands they inhabit.  FREES success and the effectiveness of all activities, such as the working groups and Summits, will require participants to recognize their personal biases, and not allow these to pervade open dialogue as we collectively seek novel approaches to the resolution of this complicated issue. Participation in FREES is open to all as long as those choosing to participate adhere to the following compact: 

  1. Comments and discussion will be facilitated to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to speak and be heard.  FREES encourages participant open dialogue and engagement!  The more we collaborate and build relationships, the better discussions and future outcomes.  FREES encourages participant to get outside of their comfort zone and talk with others with different ideas, values, and perspectives!
  2. All FREES participants agree to mutually respect others. Grandstanding, shouting, threatening, or other disrespectful behavior is not acceptable.
  3. FREES is a network and forum for discussion and discovery of potential solutions. FREES recognizes and embraces the reality that all participants will have diverse opinions.  FREES is committed to seeking to understand and respect individual opinions while striving to develop meaningful, actionable objectives to be implemented judiciously, compassionately, and expeditiously.  If there are inaccuracies in facts, we expect that participants address them in a constructive and respectful conversation.  These conversations may need to take place at different and more appropriate times than during Summits and working group meetings.  We encourage participants to work with FREES facilitators if there are questions or concerns about the on-going dialogue.
  4. FREES participants agree not to record Summit or working group presentations or discussions, including phone calls.   Summit planners and facilitators will make arrangements to record proceedings to include video-taping or taking meeting or working group notes for records and dissemination. Summit presentations video-taped and recorded meeting and working group minutes will be posted on the FREES web site and will be accessible to FREES participants.
  5. So that open, safe dialogue can occur and trust can be established and maintained, FREES participants agree not to use comments made by Summit speakers, meeting notes or personal comments stated in conference calls for social media, publication, or outreach without written consent (email is appropriate) from the Summit planners or working group facilitators and the person whose comment is being quoted. If FREES participants violate these considerations, they will be asked to remove posts or material from distribution.
  6. If FREES participants continue to violate the condition of this compact, they will not be allowed to participate in future FREES activities including Summits, and working groups.
  7. FREES has the utmost concern for participant safety and welfare.  We encourage FREES participants to notify the planners or facilitator immediately if they have any concerns.
  8. FREES planners and facilitators seek your input about how to make the network and associated working groups more successful. Please provide feedback by emailing