Roch Hart, a retired police detective, founded Wildlife Protection Management (WPM) out of necessity. The ranch he manages is very large, encompasses extremely rugged terrain, and is home to ever expanding bands of wild horses competing for a finite amount of water and forage.
Years of observing the wild horses living on the ranch instilled in Roch a deep appreciation for the animals. He saw firsthand the impact of drought and lack of forage on the animals’ health. Growing more knowledgeable of the challenges of managing the growing number of wild horses, Roch wondered if it was possible to humanely control the population and thus protect the environment by delivering vaccines to the horses using remote technology.
Roch approached New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center with his idea and was accepted into the Arrowhead Technology Incubator and later the AgSprint program. These programs utilize the National Science Foundation’s ICOR training system, an intense interview-based process designed to foster and support innovation. The interviewers study all sides of a problem, so that whatever invention or system is built, it meets the needs of a commercial user, not what the inventor thinks they need.
From this process, the WPM Remote Wildlife Vaccine Delivery System was born. Our patented, groundbreaking approach to achieving population goals in wild and feral animals is the most humane, safe and efficient solution ever created, one that preserves species and habitats. Not only does it deliver vaccines and contraceptives, monitor health and track animals’ locations, it captures critical data on individual animals, their group and their management.
Roch’s vision to better manage and thus protect free-roaming horses has the potential to help wildlife managers throughout the world achieve sustainable populations in many different species.
Advanced technology, business, and a shared passion for the issue have resulted in a highly motivated team with a can-do attitude. Together, we have created the first system of its kind in the world for the safe, humane and high-tech management of wildlife populations.
CEO & Founder
Over the course of a decade managing a 20,000-acre ranch, Roch developed a deep understanding of the challenges of maintaining sustainable populations of free-roaming horse and wildlife. As his interest in wild horses grew, he developed a concept for WPM’s Remote Wildlife Vaccine Delivery System and enlisted the help of technology experts to bring it to fruition. Roch founded WPM with Frank Drewitt, Jim Pulido and Jonathan West in 2017. Prior to WPM, he was the owner-operator of New Mexico Jeep Tours, had a successful career as a detective with the Albuquerque, NM Police Department and is a woodworker whose pieces are sold through fine art galleries. A native New Mexican, Roch is a graduate of New Mexico State University.
Co-founder & IT Engineer
Frank is an entrepreneur with deep experience in IT systems design and management and robotics. In addition to his role at WPM, he owns an IT consulting business.
Co-founder & Electrical Engineer
Jim plays an instrumental role in WPM’s system technology, including developing initial prototypes and subsequent advances in WPM’s vaccine and RFID dart delivery systems. He has been with Intel for more than 25 years as a senior equipment technician. Jim has a degree in Electronic Engineering Technology. He enjoys camping, snowboarding, traveling, and time with family.
Jonathan West, PhD
Co-founder & Lead Engineer
Jonathan has nearly 20 years of industrial electrical engineering experience including circuit board design, software development and robotics. His primary roles at WPM are software and electrical system design. A native New Mexican who loves the outdoors, Jonathan earned a PhD in engineering from the University of New Mexico.