Video reveals truth about California wild horses before the roundup

Photo by the U.S. Forest Service

Watch this video on Devil’s Garden to know what was going on out there before the huge roundup started to destroy the Devil’s Garden herd.

The roundup is a sham and a waste of taxpayer dollars.

Are they counting rocks as horses?

U.S. Forest Service photo

The Devil’s Garden Roundup in Modoc County is in full force with one of the last big California herds being attacked. Where’s the accurate headcount? Are they counting rocks as horses to justify a massive removal and destruction of native wild horses?

Take Action: Sign and share the Petition for a Head Count: https://www.change.org/p/u-s-senate-investigate-the-wild-horse-burro-count-in-captivity-and-freedom

Do what you can to STOP the Roundup!

BREAKING: Citizen Investigators Called to Find the Wild Burro Killers!

Call the BLM crime hotline phone number at: 1-800-521-6501 with your tips to catch the killers!

BATTLE MOUNTAIN, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management is working with the Nye County Sheriff’s Office regarding burros that were found shot to death on public land outside of Beatty, Nev. A report of three burros found dead of gunshots was first made on Saturday, May 5. Soon after an investigation was launched, an additional 10 wild burro carcasses were discovered. Due to the location and similar cause of death, they are believed to be linked to the three reported earlier.

The area is near the BLM Battle Mountain District’s Bullfrog Herd Management Area (HMA), located outside of Beatty.

The BLM currently manages thousands of wild horses and burros in accordance with the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which gives the agency a mandate to protect and manage the animals. Federal Regulations 43 CFR 4770.1 prohibit the following acts: maliciously or negligently injuring or harassing a wild horse or burro, destroying a wild horse or burro…except as an act of mercy and treating a wild horse or burro inhumanely. Killing a wild burro is punishable by up to one year in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.

The BLM has opened an official investigation into the 13 reported wild burro deaths and will be working closely the Nye County Sharif’s Office to bring the culprit(s) to justice. Individuals with information about this case are encouraged to call the BLM crime hotline phone number at: 1-800-521-6501

from a BLM press release

Photos by filmmaker Carl Mrozek

Investigate the Wild Horse & Burro Count in Captivity and in Freedom

Demand an Urgent Congressional Investigation and Head Count of all Wild Horses and Burros in Captivity and in the Wild

Sign and share the petition for a head count! Click here: https://www.change.org/p/u-s-senate-investigate-the-wild-horse-burro-count-in-captivity-and-freedom

The BLM’s outrageous plan to manage America’s last wild horses to extinction is here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gSdoDdQvvMSjCXrV5ORD6wLPp9Koe1Cf/view

Secret documents reveal the plot from 2008 to kill and dispose of America’s wild horses and burros. Read the documents here: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=9850
Then on September 9, 2016, the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board voted to kill the alleged 45,000 wild horses in taxpayer funded holding facilities and pastures. Do they want to cover-up the fraud that has been going on for years by killing the evidence?

Taxpayers and the general public want to know:

How much fraud has been committed regarding the wild horse and burro count on public land and in corrals?
How many budgets were approved using fraudulent information?
How many wild horses have gone to slaughter?
How many wild horses and burros have been shot and killed?
How many unbranded foals did the kill-buyers get to sell overseas?

We request an immediate Congressional investigation and independent head count, with photo IDs, of the alleged 45,000 wild horses and burros rounded up and held in captivity–at taxpayer expense.

In addition, we call for an immediate moratorium on roundups, transport and removals for a precise independent count, with photo ID, of all the federally protected wild horses and burros in the wild. This must occur before any more wild horses or burros are rounded up and/or transported, trapped, chipped, collared, removed, sterilized, given pesticide PZP, GonaCon®, SpayVac, IUDs, etc., researched or experimented on in any manner to prevent further fraud against taxpayers as well as prevent abuse against wild horses and burros who should be protected from harassment and abuse by law.

We request a complete inventory of American wild horses and burros at the following locations:
Every Herd Management Area
Every Herd Area
Every “Complex”
Every Wild Horse Territory
Every temporary holding facility
Every short-term holding facility
Every long-term holding facility, pasture, eco-sanctuary, etc.
Mustang Heritage Foundation facilities and all equids in their program
TIP Trainers’ facilities
All private contractors’ facilities
Research facilities
Any other locations where wild horses and burros are held in captivity and/or live on public land.

The public, voters of America and taxpayers are outraged and demand immediate action. Thank you.

Collapse Of Large-Bodied Herbivore Populations and Emergence Of Catastrophic Wildfire

An open letter to the officials and legislators of all western states and counties:

By: Capt. William E. Simpson II

By way of an explanation for my persistence in this matter aside from the health, safety and welfare issues related to the exigent risk of catastrophic wildfire in an around western states and counties, I offer the following:

If Americans began the evaluation of any project under the premise that it can’t be done or it will be really hard and therefore made no effort, America would still be in a pre-industrial condition. In fact all meaningful innovation nevertheless occurs in the face of many obstacles, including but not limited to the lack of money, personnel, assets or contrary legislation. Is there any reason why we should hold ourselves, our counties or our states to a lower standard that the one set by leading entrepreneurs?

Recently, Jackson County Oregon Commissioner Colleen Roberts joined many other Oregon politicians and many scientists in publicly endorsed the use of wild horses for natural ground fuel control of grass and brush in difficult access and suppression areas.

With that said, and notwithstanding any potential hurdles, there are undeniable truths that clearly point to a relatively simple and effective ground-fuels mitigation tool (not a silver bullet) for making certain areas around our county more fire resistant. And the foundation of this proposal and concept is supported by hard, well established science and empirical evidence cited therein and at the end herein below.
——————————————————————————-
Catastrophic Wildfire: Genesis And Mitigation

The relatively recent evolution of worsening catastrophic wildfire trends, including megafire, is a function of many factors including but not limited to past forestry practices, climate change producing more rain in western U.S. forest landscapes and the resulting prodigious amounts of annual grasses and brush (‘ground fuels’), which is then subjected to longer warmer summers. These excessive hazardous ground fuels in and around forests and the wild-land urban interface are the result of reduced grazing by significant declines in deer populations. In and around western forest landscapes, deer have a critical mutualistic role in protecting forests by maintaining ground fuels at nominal levels. However with the advent of the recent decline in western deer populations many millions of tons of annually occurring grass and brush remains intact as un-grazed ground fuel. Much of this excessive ground fuel is in very remote and virtually inaccessible wilderness areas where rugged terrain and numerous apex predators make traditional ground fuel abatement methods, including livestock grazing impractical if not impossible. One novel approach to dealing with this ground fuel problem and thereby creating more fire-resilient forests is posited by the reintroduction of native-species herbivores (American wild horses) to substitute for seriously depleted deer and thereby reestablishing nominal ground fuel loads via grazing. Such a plan fits within the scope of both established foundational science and common-sense, as well as the intent and purpose of established and pending Law providing local and state governments with the acquisition of wild horses from corrals; ‘excess animals’. https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3354 – Section 114 – transfer of excess animals.

In light of the foundational science [1] in regard to the evolution of catastrophic wildfire in areas where populations of large-bodied herbivores that normally graze ground fuels have become depleted, the reintroduction of substitute large-bodied herbivores is logical and provides a mechanism for natural ground fuel control. Clearly the reduction of ground fuels by grazing herbivores creates and maintains fire resistant landscapes. In many western states where deer have suffered significant population depletions we now coincidentally observe trending catastrophic wildfires. Therefore the reintroduction of large-bodied herbivores such as the readily available wild horses in the BLM corrals offers the potential to cost-effectively repopulate missing herbivores at least or until deer populations are recovered.

A pilot study seems logical if wild horses were carefully allocated into deer-depleted areas in and around remote forest areas with difficult terrain and access issues. Such areas consistently present great difficulty for conventional ground fuel abatement methods and in many cases such methods are impractical or impossible. Furthermore, areas with difficult access and terrain present great challenges and risks for personnel and greatly increased costs for fire suppression. In these particular areas focusing upon prevention seems prudent via an ongoing natural method of ground fuel mitigation via large bodied herbivores such as wild horses.

Wild equids seem to be the optimal herbivore for rebuilding fire damaged soils due to their simple monogastric digestive system. Manure from wild horses adds hummus, nutrients and microorganisms as well providing redistribution of native plant seeds intact across the landscape to a much greater percentage than any other herbivores, such as ruminants with complex digestive systems. (http://www.deerfriendly.com/wildfire/-fire-grazing-impact-of-wild-horses-vs-livestock-on-wildfire-regime)

We have testimony of empirical evidence of the efficacy of the concept in hand, to wit:

“ I still like the idea of the horse and I would love to see a controlled area with them to really see what they are capable of. I have seen the work they have done on your property and it looked good but spotty with the low numbers they have. Additionally I really think they have a place in the fuel reduction world.” ~ ODF fire fighter Cascade-Siskiyou National Forest.

Wild Horse Grazing Pilot:

Federal, state and/or county authorities can identify areas meeting certain criteria including; remote/difficult access areas with potential for re-burn on fire scars, areas with exigent risk to forest products (timber, new production and restoration protection) and protection for fragile forest ecosystems at risk for catastrophic wildfire. Once an area is identified the carrying capacity of the land (based on soils classes) is established. The total carrying capacity would include and be adjusted for the existing populations of large herbivores (deer-elk), and then add enough wild horses to match 50% of the total estimated carrying capacity. Carrying capacity varies with soil class and the ability of soils to support plant growth annually. Fire scorched soils have reduced carrying capacities for grazing due to the pasteurization (death of beneficial microorganisms) of soils and sublimation of minerals and mineral analogs. The optimal herbivore for rebuilding fire damaged soils is a wild horse due to its simple monogastric digestive system. The manure from wild horses adds hummus, nutrients, microorganisms as well redistribution of native plant seeds intact across the landscape. ( https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2018/01/08/fire-grazing-wild-horses-better-cattle )

Wild horses should only be used in and around remote areas that are unsuited to livestock grazing and/or mechanical ground fuel abatement methods. Such unsuited areas for livestock would include (i) fragile ecosystems, (ii) recently burned areas containing scorched (pasteurized soils) and or (iii) areas of difficult terrain/access and or high predator levels making them unsuited for livestock and range management methods. Fire and landscape ecologists along with an appointed wild horse ecologist would monitor their humane deployment and efficacy in pilot areas during a 48-month period, ideally in several locations.

Using established monitoring programs for deer and elk, wild horses can be studied in their assigned forest ecosystems. The areas selected would be surveilled periodically with considerations of pre and post deployment effects of wild horses upon annually recurring grasses/brush ground fuels and forest landscapes. It is expected that as natural prey of mountain lions wild horse numbers would be reduced by some percentage annually in this natural process. Therefore at some point breeding populations with intact stallions would be required to maintain a balance until booming apex predator populations can be brought under control and deer populations re-established to historic levels.

Potential Pilot Areas And Proposed Allocations:

1: Rogue-River Siskiyou National Forest (Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area, ~180,000 acres in Curry County, OR); very remote rugged terrain; site of multiple catastrophic wildfires; proposed allocation one (1) horse per 300-acres.
2. Six Rivers National Forest (~1-million acres in Siskiyou County, CA); very remote rugged terrain; site of multiple catastrophic wildfires; allocation one (1) horse per 300-acres.
3. Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument (~58,000 acres in Jackson County, OR); semi-remote fragile forest ecosystem in difficult terrain; heavy ground fuel loading; proposed allocation one (1) horse per 100-acres.
———
[1] Collapse of the world’s largest herbivores
William J. Ripple1,*, Thomas M. Newsome1,2, Christopher Wolf1, Rodolfo Dirzo3, Kristoffer T. Everatt4, Mauro Galetti5, Matt W. Hayward4,6, Graham I. H. Kerley4, Taal Levi7, Peter A. Lindsey8,9, David W. Macdonald10, Yadvinder Malhi11, Luke E. Painter7,
Christopher J. Sandom10, John Terborgh12 and Blaire Van Valkenburgh13
1Trophic Cascades Program, Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.
2Desert Ecology Research Group, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales 2006, Australia. 3Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. 4Centre for African Conservation Ecology, Department of Zoology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth 6031, South Africa. 5Departamento de Ecologia, Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), C.P. 199, Rio Claro, São Paulo 13506-900, Brazil. 6College of Natural Sciences, Bangor University, Thoday Building, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd LL572UW, UK. 7Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA. 8Lion Program, Panthera, 8 West 40th Street, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10018, USA. 9Mammal Research Institute, Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, Gauteng 0001, South Africa. 10Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Recanati-Kaplan Centre, Tubney House, Tubney, Abingdon OX13 5QL, UK. 11Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK. 12Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Duke University, P. O. Box 90381, Durham, NC 27708, USA. 13Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095–7239, USA.

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Capt. William E. Simpson II – USMM Ret.
Member: Authors Guild
IMDb
Muck Rack: https://muckrack.com/william-e-simpson-ii
Contently: https://captbill.contently.com/

Protect Mustangs is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to protect and preserve native and wild horses



 

Outrage over winter roundup likely to cause deaths

Feds to conduct cruel and costly wild horse helicopter stampede

ELY, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning a helicopter roundup stampeding native wild horses for miles over harsh icy terrain into traps on or about January 23 despite no concrete evidence of wild horse overpopulation in the Triple B Complex.

The Eastern Nevada complex near Ely and Elko is made up of the Triple B HMA, Maverick-Medicine HMA, and Cherry Springs Wild Horse Territory (USFS). Together these three legal wild horse areas contain 1,682,998 acres.

Instead of protecting or preserving America’s indigenous wild horses using holistic land management methods, the feds intend to chase our icons of freedom with helicopters for miles to round them up, break up their families, probably killing some.

Please sign and share the Petition to Defund the Roundups: https://www.change.org/p/defund-and-stop-the-wild-horse-burro-roundups Members of Congress are watching this petition. If one million people sign the petition then together we will stop the roundups.

The BLM’s roundup for “population control” plans on permanently removing at least 1,000 native wild horses, forcibly drugging approximately 250 indigenous mares with dangerous population control Pesticide PZP-22. Then the feds plan to release those drugged wild mares back into the gigantic Eastern Nevada complex–along with about 250 stallions. At least 1000 native wild horses will lose their homes despite returning some.

Right now all the wild horses in federally funded holding facilities are at risk of being shot or sold to slaughter because of poor management choices, overpopulation, lies and nasty politics.

As if that’s not bad enough, the BLM is planning on adding 1000 more wild horses to their broken captivity system with expensive holding facilities and an adoption program with rotten customer service.

It’s essential for Congress to know exactly how many wild horses and burros are living in the wild and in captivity. We have a petition you can sign and share that demands a head count and an investigation into the BLM’s sketchy program: https://www.change.org/p/u-s-senate-investigate-the-wild-horse-burro-count-in-captivity-and-freedom . Please send your elected officials the petition and take it with you to meetings to be a voice for the voiceless.

(Sadly the only paid lobbyists seem to be pushing Pesticide PZP so elected officials are getting the wrong education.)

Congress should insist the BLM take wild horses out of costly holding facilities to repatriate them into the wild in friendly areas, where neighbors appreciate them, and onto legal but empty Herd Areas to help prevent catastrophic wildfires and heal the land. The BLM must not put more native wild horses in costly holding facilities.

The Bureau of Land Management and the Department of Interior want to find ways to dispose of our national treasures so they can control and make billions of dollars off the public’s land.

Helicopter contractors, earning millions from roundups, will be paid to stampede native wild horses for miles and miles over snow, ice, and dangerous rocky terrain. Stampeding wild horses is cruel, unnatural and terrifying.

Then the wild horses will be shoved, sweating, into trap corrals with a fog of steam emanating from their wet, stressed bodies in freezing temperatures . . . The wild ones’ muscles can seize up after the terrifying stampede causing severe pain, and the wild horses’ upper respiratory systems will suffer.

The expensive helicopter roundup–which is expected to last approximately a month in freezing temperatures–will put native wild horses at risk of upper respiratory diseases such as strangles and equine pneumonia. Some may die.

These deaths won’t be counted as “roundup related” because the wild horses will die painful deaths while suffering in holding facilities. Dead bodies of native wild horses will be scooped up by BLM tractors before public watchdogs can notice.

The Triple B roundup is being conducted by the BLM Ely District Office which is conflicted with extreme energy industry and mining bias. The Bureau gets a kickback from what is extracted on BLM land–whether it’s gold, copper, lithium, oil, natural gas or other resources. The BLM has boasted that they made more than 4 billion dollars last year. Most of that is from the extractive industry polluting the environment on public land. The agency only cares about money.

Less than 2,700 wild horses will remain in the vast Triple B Complex if this cruel roundup starts and it isn’t stopped in the courts.

In 2010, when the BLM managers were shipping wild horses to slaughter through middleman Tom Davis, the vast Herd Management Areas had many more wild horses living in freedom. The Bureau then decided it could lower the allowed numbers through a sleight of hand, by joining all the HMAs into a “complex.” No one challenged the formation of complexes in court, so the BLM went ahead with their plan to reduce the number of wild horses allowed in the area.

The Triple B Complex is made up of 1,682,998 acres. To leave only 2,766 wild horses on that vast amount of acreage translates to 608 acres per wild horse. With 200 acres per wild horse 8,414 wild horses could live on the huge landscape and with 100 acres per wild horse 16,829 wild horses could stay living wild and free at virtually no cost to the American taxpayer.

The public should know how much privately owned domestic livestock, cattle, and sheep would be allowed to graze in the Triple B Complex after native wild horses are rounded up.

Through control of gathering data, BLM scapegoats native wild horses for livestock damage made by one million head of domestic cattle and sheep on public land.

Public Relations campaigns funded through the BLM claim that the purpose of the roundup is to prevent degradation of public lands by an “excess” of wild horses, and to restore a “thriving natural ecological balance” and create “multiple-use relationship’ on public lands, consistent with the provisions of Section 1333(b) of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (WFRHBA)

Yet the BLM has never proved that there are any “excess” wild horses. The key word in the BLM’s PR phrase is “relationship”. Instead of working with local public land users to create healthy rangelands using wild horses as a resource for holistic land management, the BLM and the locals are ignoring possibilities to take land management out of the dark ages.

The reality is that the agency doesn’t think twice about the ecological damage associated with a helicopter roundup, stampeding wild horses for miles over the terrain and into trap corrals. The BLM ignores that trucks and trailers would be destroying the habitat and the amount of greenhouse gas polluting the environment as a result of a million dollar roundup.

Million dollar roundups fund the BLM’s mess of a Wild Horse Program. They need the “problem” to keep the flow of cash coming in from Congress. The reality is there is no overpopulation and no problem, only out of date land management.

The truth is, the current population for the Triple B Complex is unknown. The BLM’s guess is “approximately 3,842 wild horses” in the Triple B Complex consisting of 1,682,998 acres. As discussed above, more than 16,829 native wild horses could live in the Triple B complex with 100 acres per wild horse. That’s 12,987 more wild horses than the BLM claims are living there now!

The BLM’s management level for all the Herd Management Areas within the targeted Triple B Complex helicopter stampede is ridiculously low–at only 472 to 884 wild horses for 1,682,998 acres. The BLM must revise management levels and be honest about unfair grazing allocation to livestock and stop blaming native wild horses for livestock damage from years beforehand as well as today.

The BLM plans to roundup 1,500 wild horses and remove approximately 1,000 indigenous wild horses forever. The BLM will only release about 250 mares that they will forcibly drug with the dangerous population control pesticide PZP-22 to slow the population growth for 2 years despite the fact that the National Academy of Sciences found there is no evidence of overpopulation. PZP-22 is dangerous.

PZP wreaks havoc with the law of nature, the mustangs’ immune systems, hormones, social behaviors and sense of well-being–and ruins federally protected wild horses’ right to freedom from harassment, branding, and abuse.

All forms of the EPA Restricted Use Pesticide PZP will sterilize wild horses after multiple applications. Only 250 stallions will be returned to the range yet established families (harem bands) will be destroyed.

These wild captives will be subjected to the horrors of the BLM’s processing facilities where families are ripped apart, males are separated from females, and ID numbers are tattooed on their bodies. Some American wild horses will be cruelly abused in population control experiments, and they all will be at risk of death.

The lack of compassion and violation of the federal law protecting wild horses from abuse and harassment opens the BLM up to costly lawsuits and continued waste of tax dollars. It’s time to look at this whole situation differently and come up with holistic management that works!

For the Wild Ones,
Anne Novak

Executive Director
Protect Mustangs
Contact@ProtectMustangs.org

Protect Mustangs is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org



Note: The roundup is being conducted under the DOI-BLM-NV-E030-2017-0010-EA Antelope and Triple B Complexes Gather Plan Environmental Assessment decision signed on December 21, 2017. The decision record and determination of National Environmental Policy Act adequacy can be accessed at the national NEPA register at www.goo.gl/HQJ73h.

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RED ALERT: WY14™ Wild Horses need donations to keep their home!

 

RED ALERT: WY14™ Wild Horses must meet their board goal! The deadline has been extended! I am praying and praying that these deserving souls–who are continuously persecuted–will meet their goal to keep living on the 270 acres (see photo on grass below). Please donate now: https://www.gofundme.com/KeepWY14Safe !

They lost so much during the Wyoming Roundup! Everyone over the age of 2 in their herd was slaughtered before we found them at the Slaughterhouse feedlot in 2014. 

(Photo of WY14™ in the neutral zone wait for pick up)

This is a Grassroots preservation project. Please help the WILD HORSES! Please donate now: https://www.gofundme.com/KeepWY14Safe

The Clock is Ticking!

The WY14™ Wild Horses hold you dear to their heart. They are so grateful you care about them and they send you so much LOVE.

In Prayer,
Anne Novak

Volunteer Executive Director
American Wild Horse Institute
501(c)3 nonprofit organization

Protect Mustangs is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org



Fire Brigade: Wild Horses And Their Value Proposition

By: William E. Simpson II – cover photo BLM – all others by author

When I see wild horses locked-out of nature in holding corrals, I see a huge resource being wasted by ignorance. It’s akin to putting an entire fire department in jail during fire season! If they’re not wanted on cattle-ranch lands that’s fine, but there are places where there is no competition issues with cattle, where these horses can serve a greater good. Here’s what I mean…

Like many other local and west-coast ranches, our ranch and its lands are located in rough mountainous terrain. And like many other areas with varied mountain-valley terrains, we have a lot of grass (fuel for fires) and underbrush on normal years since there are no-longer large herds of deer grazing it off or cattle in the area. Cattle and sheep ranchers moved-out of the local areas long ago due to excessive numbers of predators and difficult terrain for managing domestic livestock.

It’s worth considering that In 1960 we had about 2-million deer grazing in CA, whereas today we have less than 375,000 deer in the entire State. And that there is a direct mathematical correlation between the loss of large herbivores and the increase in catastrophic wildfires.

Now the stage has been set, and this year the fuel on the ground due to an exceptionally wet winter and spring, is excessive, with dense grass and brush that represents a very serious fire hazard to area homes, ranches, pastures and forests.

It’s just amazing to me that most of the people running the forests and counties haven’t made this realization yet and taken appropriate actions. And there is an appropriate cost-effective action and solution available, that is unless they like seeing these wildfires devastate our landscape and ecosystems at the great expense of taxpayers!

Wild horses can prevent catastrophic fires because they are able to consume dry, fire-prone vegetation over vast areas of the west.

The relatively very few horses we have up here in our area truly help with excess fuel abatement, but in order to have a real solution, we’d need another 5,000 deer and 500 horses in the local area just to mitigate some of the wildfire risk in and around our 950-acre ranch, which is surrounded by tens of thousands of acres of both private and some forestry lands, along with the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument to the north. The 60 horses that are around the area can’t begin to control all the grass on our lands let alone neighboring lands, even with all the other herbivores combined, so we worry a lot when the summer lightening storms show up like earlier this week.

Our local horses eat the young poison oak, scrub oak, tips of buck brush and star thistle (before the spikes come on) and the grasses as they browse (they move relatively fast as they graze, compared to cows).

Growing-up on a ranch made me a very practical person, so using a natural resource to deal with a very serious problem just seems logical. And in the scheme of things, I don’t see how cattle-industry politics on wild horses is solving or paying-for our fire situation and the huge annual costs incurred in money, property and lives that are paid by rural cities and counties.

Given the unabated fire hazard facing our County and hundreds of other counties annually, and the huge direct and tertiary costs for those fires in lives, property and money, I think it would wise to immediately begin the re-introduction of wild horses into areas that are not used by cattle and which have inadequate large herbivore (deer-elk) herds to help mitigate the insane fire hazard by reducing extensive grass and brush cover. Wild horses are experts at grazing in difficult terrain and may be obtained without cost from the BLM’s holding corrals outside of Reno, NV, Palomino, Susanville and Litchfield CA, as well as Burns OR. There are other BLM centers where horses are being held in southern CA as well as in other states, including UTAH, Colorado, Wyoming and elsewhere. These many BLM wild burro and horse holding facilities are conveniently located near many of the worst wildfire areas in America, including AZ, CA, NV, CO, WY and OR.

From what I have observed (prodigious amounts of vegetative fuels from a wet winter and spring), we’re in for a potentially devastating fire season this year on the West Coast.

If the County wanted (or at least some private property owners), it could adopt some of the horses that are available (free). It seems silly not to take advantage of what horses do so very well naturally, instead of spending millions of taxpayer’s dollars preparing-for and fighting catastrophic wildfires, and suffering the related losses of property and lives.

Obviously, some ranchers and land owners who are opposed to wild horses could opt out, and instead use cattle, bison or sheep, but those herbivores cost money and require much more management and oversight than wild horses, which evolved in the area and are a native species. The thing about wild horses is that they fare-well on their own and horses aren’t devastated as badly as sheep and cattle by lions, wolves and coyotes.

However, with that said, I should note that our small herd of local horses has nevertheless suffered a net drop in population due to the death of older horses and predation of younger horses. So in just the past 4 years, we have to our knowledge a 10-animal net loss; we’ve named/photographed them, so we keep fairly close tabs on the local herd as we study their benefits to the local ecosystem.

Something that is often overlooked, even by wild horse advocates is that wild and feral horses are also highly beneficial to trees and forests! They graze-off the grass and brush (fuels) under the trees. And as they do, they break-off and crush dry fuel branches into small pieces, which when come into contact with the soil, break-down into humus. This is something that other critters cannot do since it requires a large herbivore. Left unabated, these low-hanging dry branches and fuels under the trees add tremendous heat under the trees during fires, which can damage and burn even heat resistant trees that have heavy or specialized bark.

Horses also add humus to the ground via their manure. This is done when the horses shelter under the trees and in other areas they frequent. I have a dozen photos that exhibit these important points. The results are envious, even to experienced park-maintenance personnel.


A juniper tree frequented by horses

 


A juniper not frequented by horses has abundant fuel underneath.

 


Another juniper tree with lots of fuel at its base…

 


A juniper tree (seen above) that is frequented by horses stands-out and is visibly more vibrant and more fire resistant (note health of its canopy) than nearby junipers that are not frequented with sparse dry canopies.

We have dozens of trees on our lands that are frequently used by the local horses in both summer and winter and you can point them out from a 1/4 mile away due to their healthy robust canopies. Wild horses have a symbiotic mutualism with all trees and grasslands, and they create park-like grooming under trees they use for scratching (breaks-off and clears dead branches close to the ground) and shelter from weather and sun.

As a land-owner worried about fires and losing trees, the horses provide a service with genuine value that is most welcomed and is very cost effective!

There is just too much false and misleading information about wild horses floating around these days, much of which disparages the temperament of wild horses as one of many obtuse excuses to damn them to BLM holding pens, or worse yet, to a painful and hellish slaughter. And for Christians who actually follow God’s laws and the Bible, horses or burros must not be eaten according to Leviticus-11 and Deuteronomy-14.

Contrary to rumor, the vast majority of wild horses don’t have a malicious bone in their bodies. It’s the abuse at the hands of people that gives horses a bad attitude and when any animal loses its trust of humans, of course it becomes defensive and people can and do get hurt.

The foregoing claim about wild horses is best exemplified by an encounter my wife and I had with a wild horse we met for the first-time on a mountain top behind our ranch. This home-video provides some genuine insight into my claim: https://www.facebook.com/1794284444132872/videos/1867554620139187/

Today, that same horse has grown into sweet-mannered adult with a mutualism to the forests and grasslands where he lives along with the other families of horses and the few deer that remain in an area that is racked with predators as a result of mismanagement by Fish & Game. It’s also interesting to see that the few remaining local deer use the horses as cover from predators and will graze close-by to the horses for added protection and as a warning system.

County planners should take advantage of this cost-effective fire brigade, which is not unionized, doesn’t require health benefits, needs no breaks and never sues the county for HR issues. How can you beat that?

The BLM holding corrals in Litchfield, CA and at all the other holding facilities throughout the the west currently have over 40,000 horses available for fire mitigation duty… let’s put them to work doing what they do best!

Links of interest:

Wild Horses Prevent Wildfires: http://protectmustangs.org/?page_id=4255

Protesters want to end native wild horse abuse and use mustangs to fight wildfires: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=4197

California Wildfire Report: Where are all the wild horses and burros? http://protectmustangs.org/?p=2729

U.S. property exposed to wildfire valued at $136 billion says report: http://protectmustangs.org/?p=2474

Protect Mustangs is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org



Red Alert: 65 Three-Strike wild horses in Fallon, Nevada need safe homes! #Fallon65

Three-Strike wild horses often show up in the slaughter pipeline

RENO, Nev. (May 5, 2017)— Protect Mustangs encourages the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to make it easy on the public to view and buy the 65 three-strikes wild horses, known as the #Fallon65, during the two free public tours of the Indian Lakes Off-Range Wild Horse and Burro Corral in Fallon, Nevada, on Friday, May 12. This is a private facility that is closed most of the year to the public therefore adoptions are limited. Sales appear limited to 4 wild horses per person per year. Title is awarded at the sale.

“We hope the 65 Three-Strike wild horses at the Fallon Facility will be easy to identify in separate pens so the public can find ones to buy and get them out to safety,” says Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “This is a golden opportunity for the public to take these wild horses off the BLM’s hands.”

The public can download the sales forms here: https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/wildhorse_howtoadopt_doc4.pdf and get pre approved before attending the tour. If you have any questions about the form call (775) 475-2222. If you find you need help to get through the application process or if your calls and questions aren’t being answered by BLM, please email Contact@ProtectMustangs.org or call (415) 531-8454. Protect Mustangs has helped many adopters and buyers succeed with their applications.

About a 90-minute drive east of Reno, the holding corrals are located at 5676 Indian Lakes Road, Fallon, and is privately owned and operated. The public tours will begin at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and each will last about one hour and accommodate up to 20 people. Attendees should wear comfortable shoes and clothes; hats and sunscreen are recommended, and photography is welcome. To register for the tour or to get driving directions to the facility, please contact the BLM at (775) 475-2222.

Check back for updates. We will post the ID numbers of the #Fallon65 when we receive them. Some wild horses have been chosen on the recent internet adoption and others have acquired 3-Strike status. Stay tuned for the final count.

 

Protect Mustangs is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org



Protect Mustangs™ will help find homes for all the 3-Strike wild horses & burros

 

Secretary Ryan Zinke
United States Department of Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240

Dear Secretary Zinke,

We are focusing on proactive solutions to ensure all America’s wild horses and burros will be safe. Right now we are working with many people, organizations and tribes who want the 3-Strikes wild horses and burros. Where have they all gone?

The Bureau of Land Management’s own Wild Horse & Burros Advisory Board’s recommendation to kill all the wild horses and burros in holding is outrageous and cruel.

The public is against killing. My #NoKILL Mustangs petition with more than 221,000 signatures is a reflection of public opinion. (http://www.thepetitionsite.com/907/592/301/demand-nokill-45000-wild-horses-burros-in-holding)

Our Change.org petition with close to 105,000 signatures to stop the roundups and slaughter (https://www.change.org/p/defund-and-stop-the-wild-horse-burro-roundups) speaks for the public as well.

Americans will not allow our national treasures to be killed. It’s time for solutions.

Kindly send me a list, without delay, of all the 3-Striker’s IDs and whereabouts so we can move forward to get the wild mustangs and burros into private care thus reducing the expense to feed and board them through the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse & Burro Program.

Thank you for your assistance.

Sincerely,
Anne Novak

Anne Novak
Executive Director
Protect Mustangs

Protect Mustangs is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of native and wild horses. www.ProtectMustangs.org