Category Archives: Wild Horse Fire Brigade

This Video Explains How Wild Horses Can Save Lives and Millions in Taxes from Waste

Wild Horse Fire Brigade is a 501-c-3 nonprofit public benefit corporation. Your donations are made more effective by the fact that we are an all-volunteer organization, so every dollar donated goes towards advancing our mission, saving wild horses, strategies and plans to effectively and naturally save and conserve American wild horses for generations to come.

At the most basic level, we use powerful multimedia, photos, films, documentaries, and even a new music video to carry the important message that American wild horses are critical to the very survival of Americans, our forests, wildlife, watershed, and fisheries, and help to sequester carbon compounds via their evolutionary mutualisms with all North American flora and fauna.

This new 1-mnute video powerfully portrays what is at stake as a result of the gross mismanagement of wild horses at the hands of the Bureau of Land Management.  This undeniable and costly mismanagement adversely impacts ALL Americans everywhere. Please share this video with email lists and on social media.

Consider supporting our work and mission to naturally save American wild horses via our plan titled the ‘Natural Wildfire Abatement and Forest Protection Plan’, a.k.a. Wild Horse Fire Brigade.

Please visit www.wildhorsefirebrigade.org for more information.

Prescribed Burns Are Not the Silver Bullet Suggested for Wildfires

Photo: A family of wild horses that is reducing wildfire fuels on the forest floor. Reduced wildfire fuels results in less heat produced during a wildfire.

YREKA, CA, US, January 8, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — There are people, NGOs and some elected officials, who want to do prescribed burning across tens of millions of acres in America to reduce key wildfire fuels (grass and brush).

“Most unfortunately, it seems that the most effective method for managing grass and brush wildfire fuels, using large bodied herbivores, is being overlooked in favor of methods that can be monetized,” said William E. Simpson II.

By far, the most cost-effective method involves relocating taxpayer-owned American wild horses into wildfire prone remote critical wilderness areas.

The question stands:

Are some non-governmental organizations, as well as county and state elected officials, going to continue selling American taxpayers the myth that prescribed/controlled/cultural burns are somehow a silver bullet for the cost effective management of catastrophic wildfires in an environmentally friendly manner?

Empirically speaking, we have data that prove prescribed burning by any name is not only very costly, it’s led to some of the largest and most expensive wildfire disasters ever, killing wildlife by the millions, damaging soils and watersheds, and pouring more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

As we have already seen time and time again, ‘prescribed burning’, also known as ‘controlled burning’, is extremely dangerous, deadly, and financially costly in many ways, even when used by highly-trained professionals supported by the best technology available today.

The most recent use of prescribed burning by professionals at the United States Forest Service (USFS) turned disaster was experienced in New Mexico, where two prescribed burns went wrong, joined together, and became the largest and most costly wildfire disaster in the history of the state.

From the Washington Post:

“In a statement, the Forest Service said that what began as a controlled burn in the Santa Fe National Forest in January, meant to clear away vegetation and prevent catastrophic wildfires in the future, turned into a ‘sleeper fire.’ It over-wintered beneath the ground, continuing to burn slowly until it re-emerged in early April.

Fueled by strong, gusty winds, the Calf Canyon fire escaped firefighters’ attempts to contain it.

On April 22, it merged with the Hermits Peak fire, which also began as a prescribed burn set by the Forest Service that grew out of control. In the month since then, the combined blazes have destroyed hundreds of homes and displaced thousands of people.”

When it comes to ‘prescribed burning’, ‘controlled burning’, or as it’s now being rebranded as ‘Eco-Cultural Fire’ to confuse taxpayers into thinking it’s somehow a safer fire, playing with fire, regardless of who’s doing it or where, results in disaster, time and time again.

An excerpt from a 2015 article from Outside Magazine titled “When Prescribed Burns Go Wrong” clearly shows that the disasters that stem from prescribed burning are being repeated over and over, as are the evolving explanations and excuses for the disasters:

“Tom Scanlan’s house burned down on an early spring afternoon in March 2012. Just days before, the Colorado State Forest Service had set fire to the dangerously overgrown forest near the Lower North Fork of the Platte River, about 40 miles outside Denver. The controlled burn was supposed to stave off a future blaze; instead, warm temperatures and high winds fanned a wall of flames that torched 1,400 acres, left three people dead, and destroyed 23 homes — even those like Scanlan’s with defensible space. ‘They did a number of things wrong,’ says the 69-year-old former aeronautics executive, ‘but the biggest thing was setting that fire in the first place.’

Each year, more people like Scanlan move into the so-called wildland-urban interface. Ten million new homes were built in these exurban areas between 2000 and 2010; over 30 percent of America’s housing stock is now in the WUI. That means a growing number of people risk evacuation, property loss, and death when these kinds of accidents occur.

In March of this year, high winds and temperatures rekindled an extinguished burn in Red Lodge, Montana, forcing 500 skiers off the local ski area; another burn, in Victorville, California, quickly exploded into a 70-acre wildfire that required evacuation of 25 houses. The fires aren’t always so small. In 2000, the prescribed Cerro Grande fire near Los Alamos, New Mexico torched over 280 homes. While residents have sued government agencies over burns gone wild, it’s hard to prove negligence; it’s more common to receive a small payout through emergency funds. (Those affected by the North Fork fire that destroyed Scanlan’s home received approximately $18 million from the Colorado government.)”

There are many more examples of prescribed/controlled burns gone wrong and causing death and costly disaster. It’s evident that any arguable benefits of these intentional fires are far outweighed by the adverse results of these prescribed burns.

Think about what is being sold, that prescribed burning grass and brush fuels in the winter that didn’t get burned by a wildfire in the summer, somehow makes the landscape safer.

The giant bug in that ointment is the fact that grass and brush are ‘annual fuels’ and come back onto the landscape in full force by late spring/early summer and dry quickly and stay dry longer thanks to climate change.

So what exactly is accomplished by winter prescribed burning?

The answer is: very little, other than spending boat-loads of tax dollars and risking more devastation being inflicted upon the people, homes, forests, wildlife, watersheds, and the climate via adding greenhouse gases.

The most important question goes unasked: why?

It seems that there are people who are directly or indirectly monetizing annual wildfires who are not interested in asking the single most important question in regard to the evolution of wildfire.

Why now is the landscape suffering from over-abundant annually-occurring grass and brush wildfire fuels buildup?

The answer to this most important question is not climate change, nor is it a lack of logging trees, which opens up the canopy and stimulates the growth of under-story plants and grasses (wildfire fuels). And in remote wilderness areas suffering from a collapsed herbivory, the buildup of these grass and brush fuels is prodigious.

The answer and reason for the now massive buildups of annual grass and brush, which are the key fuels in over 60% of all wildfires, is that our native species herbivory has collapsed due to mismanagement. Prodigious grass and brush fuels that grow annually, even in spite of climate change, are the root cause of catastrophic wildfires.

There is an important tool being intentionally sequestered by some elected officials in favor of the lucrative enterprises related to wildfire suppression (a.k.a. firefighting).

That tool is a plan known as the Natural Wildfire Abatement and Forest Protection Plan.

The winners from implementing this plan include:

1. Timber Industry
2. Forest and wildlife enthusiasts
3. Fisheries
4. Hunting Industry (benefits all game animals)
5. Livestock Industry
6. Insurance Industry
7. Climate Change/Crises

This presentation about Wildfire & Wild Horses at the 2022 Mustang Summit (30 min. talk) outlines a plan for reestablishing our native herbivory, which is our 1st-line tool for wildfire prevention:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3pCv0VgMOI

Primer on ABC NEWS story about the Natural Wildfire Abatement and Forest Protection Plan:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFrLJ2vashU

Are Wild Horses a Native Species?

Here’s what the world’s leading Equine Paleontologist (Dr. Ross MacPhee – Curator at the American Museum of Natural History) told the world at a transcribed lecture in New York: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-zNiS1uqCWZ9PimwJpaVdY7NC57hxdGKDCLXbCEYb8c/.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California recognized wild horses as native species, explaining that BLM “establishes Appropriate Management Levels (‘AMLs’) for populations of native species – including wild horses, burros, and other wildlife – and introduced animals, such as livestock.” In Defense of Animals, et al. v. U.S. Dept. Interior, et al., No. 12-17804, *6 (9th Cir. May 12, 2014).

Wild Horse Fire Brigade Org (and like-minded supporters) believe that existing wild horse management is flawed and exorbitantly costly due to law from 1971 that predated consumer-driven land-use demands, and is based upon science from the 1950s-1960s that is now clearly obsolete and contradicts intelligent wild horse management.

Further, Wild Horse Fire Brigade Org believes that it is not good for wild horses and livestock to remain commingled in areas virtually devoid of the natural predators of wild horses, and where wild horses are deemed to be in conflict with consumer-driven land-use demands. This is of paramount import given there is about 115-million acres of wildfire-prone remote critical wilderness where livestock production and motorized equipment/vehicles are prohibited by law.

And as such, horses should properly be humanely relocated to other available wilderness areas where they provide proven wildfire fuels management benefits to taxpayers and other stakeholders and where they will not be in conflict with land-use demands; they should be relocated to wilderness areas that are both economically and ecologically appropriate, ending the problem.

Putting fire onto 12 million acres of public lands in California, for instance, is not only prohibitively expensive and required virtually on an annual basis, it flies in the face of the logic of published peer-reviewed science:

1. Prescribed/controlled/cultural fires do not sequester carbon compounds into the soils as is the case with herbivores, and fire sends more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. EIN NEWS: https://www.einpresswire.com/article/606747655/eco-cultural-fire-rebranding-failed-prescribed-burning-as-wildfire-fuels-management

2. Even low intensity wildfire (and prescribed/controlled/cultural burns) damages soils, especially when done repeatedly.

California’s current population of deer is collapsed and down approx. 3 million animals that were previously annually grazing approx. 3.6 million tons of annual grass and brush which remains on the landscape annually. Any fire in areas that are habitually overgrown and stocked with abnormally high levels of fuels will burn catastrophic hot, regardless of who is using applied fire in an attempt to reduce annual grass and brush fuels.

1) Low-severity wildfires impact soils more than previously believed: Desert Research Institute https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180910160632.htm

“Low-severity wildland fires and prescribed burns have long been presumed by scientists and resource managers to be harmless to soils, but this may not be the case, new research shows. According to two new studies, low-severity burns cause damage to soil structure and organic matter in ways that are not immediately apparent after a fire.”

‘High and low-temperature pyrolysis profiles describe volatile organic compound emissions from western US wildfire fuels’: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326192351_High-_and_low-temperature_pyrolysis_profiles_describe_volatile_organic_compound_emissions_from_western_US_wildfire_fuels

2) After the Fires – Hydrophobic Soils. University of Idaho: https://www.uidaho.edu/-/media/UIdaho-Responsive/Files/Extension/topic/forestry/F5-After-the-Fires-Hydrophobic-Soils.pdf

“Aside from property and aesthetic loss, this can include situations where highly erodible soils are exposed by burning the organic material on the soil surface. The burning of litter and organic material can reduce infiltration, increase surface runoff and erosion, and lead to hydrophobicity, or hydrophobic soils.”

3) Importance of maintaining cover crops in wilderness for ground water during drought.

‘Comparing infiltration rates in soils managed with conventional and alternative farming methods: A meta-analysis’: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0215702

“We found that introducing perennials (grasses, agroforestry, managed forestry) or cover crops led to the largest increases in infiltration rates (mean responses of 59.2 ± 20.9% and 34.8 ± 7.7%, respectively). Also, although the overall effect of no-till was non-significant (5.7 ± 9.7%), the practice led to increases in wetter climates and when combined with residue retention.”

This press release can be viewed in its entirety online at: https://www.einpresswire.com/article/610215907/.

Please visit www.wildhorsefirebrigade.org for more information.

Wild Horse Fire Brigade Lawsuit Halts BLM Wild Horse Roundup in Oregon

A herd of wild horses seen in an alpine riparian area of a wilderness area. Documented evidence proves wild horses have been using this riparian area and spring for centuries without any ill effects. Photo: William E. Simpson II.

YREKA, CA, US, December 31, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — On Wednesday, October 5th, 2022, Vermont Law and Graduate School’s Environmental Advocacy Clinic filed a lawsuit in the Federal Court in Washington D.C. (Case 1:22-cv-03006) against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, on behalf of its client Wild Horse Fire Brigade (WHFB), a California-based all-volunteer 501-c-3 nonprofit organization.

That lawsuit brought a temporary halt to the roundup of wild horses from private property within and adjacent to the Pokegama Herd Management Area in southern Oregon while the Department of Justice evaluated the lawsuit, which alleged that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failed to follow the law and its own guidance before initiating the roundup.

The intention of the lawsuit was also to prevent the loss of wild horses and to compel BLM to conduct legally required studies regarding the horses.

“The BLM has a history of cutting corners and ignoring their legal obligations in a rush to get rid of wild horses in the west,” Professor Michael Harris, director of the Environmental Advocacy Clinic at Vermont Law and Graduate School said. “Horses are native to the west and are an important aspect of the ecosystem. We need to work to increase their numbers to ensure healthy, stable herds.”

The recent doctoral dissertation by Yvette ‘Running Horse’ Collin provides evidence that strongly suggests wild horses have been living in the region of Southwestern Oregon since at least the year 1580, when Sir Francis Drake documented observations of wild horses living among the local indigenous peoples of Southwestern Oregon during his voyage and exploration of the west coast of America in 1580.

Dr. Collin’s dissertation , titled ‘The relationship between the indigenous peoples of the Americas and the horse: deconstructing a Eurocentric myth,’ can be read in its entirety at the following URL:

https://scholarworks.alaska.edu/handle/11122/7592

In early December, Wild Horse Fire Brigade and its legal team at Vermont Law learned that a wild mare was ‘acutely injured’ during a renewed roundup activity by the BLM during the time the DOJ agreed to halt the roundup while considering the legal action by Vermont Law. Tragically and needlessly, that wild mare died.

On December 7th, 2022, Wild Horse Fire Brigade issued a Press Release condemning the BLM’s actions and the death of a protected American wild horse, as a result of the continuation of the alleged illegal roundup.

“That wild mare died tragically and needlessly as a result of an illegal and ill-conceived roundup authorized by Mr. Todd Forbes at the BLM’s Lakeview Oregon office,” said Deb Ferns, President, Wild Horse Fire Brigade, who went on to say that “wild horse advocates should contact Mr. Forbes directly and offer their own concerns as well.”

(Todd Forbes – Oregon BLM Lakeview District Manager. Ph. 541-947-6100 / email: tforbes@blm.gov)

The removal of wild horses from the area around Pokegama is reckless and disregards the health, safety and welfare of people living in the region, given the excessive grass and brush wildfire fuels that were formerly managed by hundreds of wild horses that have lived in this area on the Oregon-California border for the past 440 years.

Now it seems that the BLM was desperate to somehow defend and explain the questionable and needless death of the wild mare to the Federal Court in Washington D.C. that is handling the pending lawsuit.

On December 20, 2022, the BLM filed a Declaration in the Washington D.C. Federal Court (Case No. 1 :22-cv-3006) by the BLM agent involved in the death of the wild mare, a Mr. Blair J. Street, who claims the title of ‘District Wild Horse and Burro Specialist for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lakeview District in southcentral Oregon.’

Among the statements made in the Declaration by Mr. Street, he also stated the following:

“We spent hours attempting to load the remaining mare and stud into the truck. Eventually, I unhooked the horse trailer from my truck, and we left the horses overnight to see if they would go into the trailer themselves. I have used this tactic on other gathers to coax the horses into the trailer with a small bucket of water.

It is not uncommon for studs and mares to be mixed together while trying to load horses from the trap to the holding facility.

We headed back out to the trap the following morning, on November 22, 2022. When we arrived, the mare was lying down and the stud was kicking at her. She could not stand. At that point, I released the stud.

When the mare tried to stand, she was very uneasy and stumbled a lot to try to keep her balance. Her head was tilted to the side, she could not straighten her neck, and her eyes were very wide open. When I went to her left side, I noticed a huge bulge where her spinal column would be. She had hoof marks from the stud on her neck. I suspected the stud had fractured some of her vertebrae.

After about ten minutes of observation, I decided that the mare was not going to be able to load in the trailer or survive long outside of the trap. She was slow and clearly in a great deal of pain. The mare was obviously suffering and was not going to have quality of life.

In my opinion, if the mare were released, she would have gone through a lot of pain before passing a slow and horrible death. Her foal outside the trap was old enough to be weaned. Given all of these considerations, I decided to euthanize the mare as an act of mercy.”

Clearly, by his own admission, Mr. Blair was having great difficulty attempting to force two wild horses from a wilderness area (the mare and her stallion) into a trailer.

It’s my belief that the truth of the matter is that during the ‘hours spent’ trying force two wild horses into a trailer, the mare seriously injured her neck, resulting in her death. Of course, there was no necropsy performed, which might disprove Mr. Street’s statement.

“Unlike Mr. Blair, I am a field researcher and wild horse ethologist that has studied free roaming wild horses in the wilderness and around Pokegama for the past 8 years continuously, and I have logged over 15,000 hours of close observational study of wild horse behavior and ecology. In that time, I have never witnessed any band stallion or bachelor stallion kicking any mare lying on the ground. The highly questionable and unbelievable statement by Mr. Blair seems to assign blame for a human-caused injury, likely caused by attempting to force wild horses into a trailer, to the loving companion of the mare,” said William E. Simpson II, Founder & Executive Director of Wild Horse Fire Brigade.

“It would be highly unusual for a wild stallion to aggressively attack one of his mares as his principal role is to act as guardian and protector of his band. Stallions have an immense responsibility under pressure to manage their herd and protect the mares and foals. They are on watch at all times. If the mare were already injured, he would likely stand over her, nudge her, and continue to protect her. Aggression on the part of the stallion towards other horses is primarily associated with sexual competition, dominance, or territory (protecting the group and resources),” said Professor Julie Murphree, PhD, Equine Science Advisor at Wild Horse Fire Brigade.

A great deal of new research and understanding of wild horse ethology has come to light over the past eight years (2014-2022) as a result of the intensive and continuous study and published research of wild horses living naturally in the wilderness by William E. Simpson II.

One of many examples of the unexpected behaviors of wild horses is how they respect and honor dying members of the herd, as was documented in this published article, ‘How wild horses deal with death and grief – A rare insight’, which can be read here: https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2018/07/04/wild-horses-death-grief-insight/.

It’s most unfortunate that many of the personnel at the BLM are actually willfully ignorant of the many scientific facts related to wild horse behavioral ecology and ethology. These facts offer important insights as to how America can better manage its iconic wild horses.

Some of the research and peer-reviewed published studies that support the rewilding/relocating initiative integral to the wild horse management plan known as the ‘Natural Wildfire Abatement and Forest Protection Plan’ (aka: Wild Horse Fire Brigade) are found at: https://www.wildhorsefirebrigade.org/resources.

Under the direction of Professor-Litigator Michael Harris, Vermont Law will be filing a response to Mr. Blair Street’s Declaration, as well as a ‘permanent injunction’ in January 2023, to prevent any future roundups in and around the Pokegama wild horse Herd Management Area, one of the few remaining wild horse Herd Management Areas in Oregon.

Please visit www.wildhorsefirebrigade.org for more information.

Exposing the Flaws of a Failed Paradigm Killing American Wild Horses

William E. Simpson II is greeted by a wild mountain stallion in the Soda Mountain Wilderness area.

YREKA, CA, US, December 22, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — The assumption that the ‘1971 Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Protection Act’ (‘1971 Act’) is protecting American wild horses today is incorrect.

It’s a fact that over the past 50+ years since the 1971 Act was passed, socioeconomic impacts on land management policies driven by consumerism have resulted in the highly flawed, inhumane management of wild horses witnessed today.

Like flies to any dying or dead animal, the ineffective and failing wild horse management program was quickly surrounded by money motivated people and wild horse nonprofit organizations who proffer numerous costly band-aids, which arguably benefit them far more than the wild horses.

Instead of learning from mistakes and implementing a genuine management solution that is most beneficial for wild horses, the band-aids that are promoted are highly flawed and conflict with the highest and best interests of the so called ‘protected’ wild horses.

Core Flaw in Wild Horse Management Today:

The core flaw in wild horse management program today is that managers are keeping wild horses in areas commingled with livestock, where for the past 200 years, apex predators have been eliminated with great prejudice to reduce losses of livestock.

During the 1800s many wild horses were relocated from their natural habitats into other regions via livestock traders.

When the 1971 Act was passed, many areas that had been used for livestock production for two centuries and largely devoid of apex predators became Herd Areas and Herd Management Areas (‘HMAs’). The result is that the wild horses contained in these HMAs are living in the absence of their co-evolved natural predators, which over the millennia had regulated wild horse populations and engaged in a process known as ‘Natural Selection’ that preserved the genetic vigor of the species. The result is that wild horse populations go unchecked and their genetics suffer from a lack of Natural Selection, both of which are bad for the sustainable conservation of wild horses.

It’s critical to understand that the process of Natural Selection works perfectly and weeds out weak genetics. Natural Selection works on many levels. For instance, having a large selection (diverse genetic representation) of bachelor stallions competing for breeding rights helps assure that the best genetics are represented in the competition and then carried forward by the champion who becomes a band stallion.

There is also a recently discovered more subtle form of competition representing another facet of Natural Selection, which occurs within in harems (mares) of family bands for the position of ‘lead mare’.

During 8 years living among and studying free roaming wild horses in an ecologically balanced wilderness, wild horse ethologist William E. Simpson II has discovered and recorded that the offspring of a lead mare has a survival advantage over the offspring of lesser mares in the band harem. This is because the band stallion and harem will stick with the lead mare, and the lead mare will wait as long as it takes for her new foal to gain its strength to travel with the band.

On the other hand, an omega mare who has a new foal that requires time to stand and be ready to travel with the family band may be faced with a difficult decision. If the lead mare moves the band before the omega mare’s foal is ready to travel, the omega mare will have to decide to stay behind with her foal, or abandon the foal and leave with the band. Either way, the omega mare’s foal has a lower rate of survival without the protection of the band and its stallion.

Examining flawed band-aids being applied to failed management:

1) Roundups and subsequent warehousing of captured wild horses into off-range feed lots are argued as one manner of managing wild horse populations in areas devoid of apex predators. These methods are very costly for taxpayers (>$150M/year) due to lots of personnel, equipment, aircraft, feeding horses hay, etc., and they are brutal, inhumane, and ecologically inappropriate given that such actions do not correct the core problem.

Roundups also result in ecological damage to landscapes due to stampedes, where dozens of wild horses running for their very lives from helicopters trample the landscape, injuring and killing some flora and fauna. During helicopter roundups, wild horses are run for miles and beyond their natural ability, adversely impacting the health of horses. Pregnant mares spontaneously abort foals on the run, and new foals run their soft new hooves off and go lame and fall behind, ending up being eaten alive by coyotes.

2) So-called ‘contraception’ (costing tens of millions annually) is a nice sounding term for what is actually ‘chemical sterilization’ of mares using chemicals commonly known as ‘PZP’ and ‘GonaCon’, along with the castration of stallions. PZP and GonaCon are known to adversely impact the social structure and hierarchy of the harem, where lead mares that sterilized can lose their status in the band.

One program known as ‘Veterans for Mustangs’, and the bill by the same name (H.R.7631 — 117th Congress, 2021-2022), proposes to have military veterans using high powered gas operated rifles to shoot heavy darts/projectiles containing chemical sterilization compounds into wild horses, making a complete mockery of the intent of the 1971 Act, by stalking and shooting wild horses (a.k.a. ‘harassment’), like at a carnival shooting gallery.

The wild horse nonprofit known as American Wild Horse Campaign also engages in this ludicrous and dangerous activity. Studies show horses shot in this manner can suffer from bleeding, hematoma, broken bones, and death.

More on ‘PZP’ and ‘GonaCon’: https://www.einpresswire.com/article/553542481/decimation of wild horses continues path forward plan supported by non profit activist organization return to freedom.

“Fertility control in free‐roaming wildlife populations has been associated with changes in immigration (Ramsey 2005; Merrill, Cooch & Curtis 2006), decreased group fidelity (Nuñez et al. 2009; Madosky et al. 2010), increased survival (Caughley, Pech & Grice 1992; Kirkpatrick & Turner 2007; Williams et al. 2007), altered reproductive behavior (Nuñez, Adelman & Rubenstein 2010; Ransom, Cade & Hobbs 2010), and shifted phenology (Ransom, Hobbs & Bruemmer 2013)” ~ Ecological feedbacks can reduce population‐level efficacy of wildlife fertility control.

The use of chemicals to control wild horse populations (wildlife) disintermediates evolutionary Natural Selection and leads to genetic erosion and social disruptions in wild horses (equids). Furthermore, using chemicals (PZP & GonaCon) is ‘Selective Breeding’ and leads to genetic decline.

MORE: https://www.einnews.com/pr_news/550887360/wild horses wild horse management non profit organizations wrong chemical use on wildlife populations flawed

In addition to the social breakdown of family bands, genetic erosion, and selective breeding that are all part of using PZP on free roaming native species American wild horses, we also find evidence of the following:

“Even on a large animal struck correctly, the dart (contraceptive PZP and GonaCon darts) can cause hemorrhage and hematoma. Misplaced shots can break bones or even kill the animal” (Thomas and Marburger 1964). Muzzle report can cause problems in darting either captive or free ranging animals. In captive situations, the noise can be more disturbing to animals than getting struck with a dart. Disturbed animals are then more difficult to approach, or the entire group of animals may run away” ~ Page 32, Overview of Delivery Systems for the Administration of Contraceptive to Wildlife”, by Terry J. Kreeger.

3) Farming out wild horses at taxpayer expense as so-called adoptable or trainable horses also costs American taxpayers, since the BLM pays $1,000 for each horse adopted.

As most wild horse advocates know, the 1971 act was passed to ostensibly protect wild horses, yet few parts of 1971 Act are being observed and followed by the Bureau of Land Management (‘BLM’) today.

Even the core intentions of the 1971 Act that are cited in its preamble are disrespected and ignored in the management of wild horses today by the very agency charged with protecting wild horses, the BLM. This is clearly the result of political pressures brought to bear on law and policy makers by the trillion-dollar corporations who provide campaign donations to politicians on both sides of aisle.

The key sentence in the preamble to the 1971 Act states:

“It is the policy of Congress that wild free roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding harassment, or death…”

The reality of life for wild horses in American today under the 1971 Act is quite different than what any outsider looking in would believe having read the 1971 Act.

The reality today, over fifty years since the passing of the 1971 Act, is that the BLM does everything to wild horses that was originally prohibited under the 1971 Act.

The BLM regularly and aggressively; captures, brands, and separates family members from each other, where stallions, mares, and juveniles are sent into separate holding corrals even as family members scream for each other, causing tremendous emotional hardship for wild horse families. After segregating horses by sex and age, they are genetically molested where stallions are castrated and mares are chemically sterilized. This inhumanity transcends the prohibited ‘harassment’ cited in the 1971 Act.

It’s a horrifically brutal and inhumane scene that is repeated annually dozens of times each year in America over the past 40 years.

The protests of wild horse advocates and wild horse nonprofits, in court and in the media, have yielded no change in the behavior of the BLM.

That’s simply because the public servants at Government agencies are like soldiers carrying out the orders that are handed down from their superiors, who are essentially controlled by elected politicians who in turn are arguably beholden and influenced by campaign contributions from huge corporations.

A very simple example of the foregoing is relevant to the current SAFE ACT (H.R. 3355) that is languishing in the U.S. Senate.

The lawyers who drafted the Safe Act made sure there was a loophole for a major corporation (Nestle’) who owns the second largest pet food company in Mexico Purina (conveniently located just over the U.S. border in Mexico). In order to remain profitable, Purina requires a constant source of horse meat from America and elsewhere.

A review of the last draft of the SAFE Act showed that shipments of American horses for ‘human consumption’ outside the U.S. would be prohibited if the act passed. However, there is an arguable loophole: shipments of American horses for ‘animal products’ is not cited as being prohibited in the draft bill.

Since the installment of Deb Haaland as the head of the Department of Interior (‘DOI’), which oversees the BLM, the brutal process of rounding up wild horse families in holocaust fashion have increased.

Wild Horses captured by the BLM and the United States Forest Service (‘USFS’) are then genetically molested where stallions are castrated and mares are sterilized using chemicals commonly known as ‘PZP’ and ‘Gonacon’. These chemicals are known ‘genetic poisons’ and end the natural life cycles and genetic lines of wild horses.

No DNA (genetic) testing is performed by the BLM or USFS prior to ending gene lines of processed wild horses using castration or chemical sterilization.

This practice is a form of ‘selective breeding’, and as science proves, ensures a loss of genetic diversity, resulting in genetic decline in wild horse herds, and ultimately leads to ‘bottle necking’ and possible extinction of wild horse gene lines, which contain the most robust equine genetics.

At some point soon, domestic horse breeders will need to breed back to these robust genetic lines to reinvigorate domestic horse breeds, many of which are suffering from congenital defects and genetic diseases related to inbreeding over centuries.

Following this initial horror show, wild horses are then processed for allocation into so called programs that are extremely costly to American taxpayers, and further punish wild horses emotionally.

The BLM sells it Adoption Incentive Program (‘AIP’) as a success and solution for getting rid of wild horses they have rounded up. However, combination of the AIP and other wild horse processing programs (prisoner programs, etc.) only places a small percentage of all the wild horses (about 5-7%) rounded up into the hands of adopters or trainers who are paid $1,000 (tax dollars) by the BLM for each horse adopted.

Wild horses that are funneled into adoption and training programs are wild sentient beings, few or which will submit to any training program.

Wild horses adopted are made to submit to the demands of human trainers. Surprisingly, so-called horse ‘trainers’ fail to understand the wild nature and spirit of wild horses, as opposed to domestic horse breeds, which have been bred for the past 6,000 years to serve the utility of humankind and are well suited to training. This failure by people and trainers to understand wild horses and their behavioral ecology leads to a majority of wild horses placed in programs resisting training and ending up at slaughter auctions for meat in the pet food industry, a horrific ending for innocent wild horses.

The Big Question: Is there a better solution to the current wild horse management debacle?

Answer: Absolutely!

There is a plan that provides a more humane, natural, and cost-effective management paradigm for wild horses.

That plan is called the ‘Natural Wildfire Abatement and Forest Protection Plan’, also known as the ‘Wild Horse Fire Brigade’.

Wild Horse Fire Brigade is a cost-effective solution for humanely managing wild horses naturally without keeping them on degraded ecologically collapsed landscapes that are being intensively used for commercial enterprises, including oil, gas, mineral, and livestock production.

Keeping wild horses in areas where they are deemed to be in conflict with the interests of $Trillion/year corporations guarantees that wild horses will remain in a constant state of conflict with consumer driven demands for public land use, resulting in the highly flawed and costly management concepts previously cited.

2022 MUSTANG SUMMIT presentation on Wild Horses and Consumerism on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3pCv0VgMOI

What many people (including some wild horse advocates) fail to realize is that there are 115 million acres of designated critical wilderness where motorized vehicles and livestock production are prohibited due to law and costly logistics.

Using just 20 million acres of this vast water and forage rich wilderness area, up to 100,000 wild horses could be redistributed (rewilded/relocated) as family bands, at the rate of 1 horse per 200 acres, away from conflicts, ending the plight of wild horses.

This plan provides wild horses with habitat that is consistent with what they had enjoyed prior to the arrival of the Europeans in north America. Wild horses are completely at home in the deep wilderness and had survived in such habitats for 1.7 million years in North America.

And via reestablishing wild horses into economically and ecologically appropriate wilderness areas, these keystone herbivores can once again re-balance ecosystems, and manage the now over abundant grass and brush wildfire fuels. This natural symbiotic wildfire grazing reduces fuel loading and results in normalizing the wildfire regime, devolving super fueled super-hot catastrophic wildfires back into the normal wildfire expected on the landscape that burns low, slow, and cooler as a result of less fuel. This in turn saves forests, wildlife, and watersheds from catastrophically hot wildfires.

LEARN MORE:

More about the many benefits of the Wild Horse Fire Brigade plan HERE: https://www.wildhorsefirebrigade.org/_files/ugd/b50928_b546b19ef08441349993b0d3fd8111eb.pdf

ReWilding Europe’s wildfire focused journal ‘GrazeLIFE’ published an abstract of the Study that supports the Wild Horse Fire Brigade plan online at:
https://grazelife.com/blog/wild horse fire brigade lessons in rebalancing north american ecosystems by rewilding equids/

NPR has also published a story (with audio) online at:
https://www.npr.org/2022/10/30/1131042723/preventing wildfire with the wild horse fire brigade

Please visit www.wildhorsefirebrigade.org for more information.

Updates from Wild Horse Fire Brigade

We have some exciting news from our participation at the 10th Annual EQUUS Film & Arts Festival that was held in Sacramento, CA from Dec. 2-4.

The skies opened up and deluged many outdoor events. The snow that hit the mountains to the east of Sacramento (Tahoe, etc.) was heavy, so Festival attendance by some folks who planned on attending the live Festival by driving was limited due to hazardous travel conditions.

We still saw many people who drove in from southern California and from up north, as well as many attendees who made early reservations and flew in. The Murieta Hotel and Spa was fully booked for the weekend due to the two horse related events: a hunter/jumper show and the EQUUS Film Festival.

On Saturday Dec. 3rd at 10:00 AM, William Simpson gave a TED-like talk (live presentation) at the Guild Theater about the Natural Wildfire Abatement and Forest Protection Plan (a.k.a. ‘Wild Horse Fire Brigade’). That talk had the largest audience attendance at the Festival and lasted 30 minutes. The talk was followed by a 30 min. panel discussion (Q&A) with the audience.

The following Board members were in attendance:

Deb Ferns – President
Kelsey Stangebye – Vice President
Michelle Gough – Treasurer
William Simpson – Founder/Exec. Director

The audience provided many good questions that addressed various aspects of how and why Wild Horse Fire Brigade benefits wild horses and ecosystems.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) sent three representatives to the Wild Horse Fire Brigade talk. Their team leader was Amy Ruhs who was from the BLM’s Idaho state office.

One of the three ladies from the BLM, from the Sacramento BLM office, had a good question:

“How would you amend the 1971 Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act to allow rewilding?”

The answer:

Section 1339 of the Act currently prohibits the BLM from relocating wild horses from any Herd Management Area (HMA) into another non-HMA area, such as designated critical wilderness (115 million acres available).

By amending just Section 1339 to state that:

The BLM is authorized to humanely relocate wild horses as family bands from areas where they are deemed to be in conflict with commercial enterprises and subject to roundups, and relocate them into designated critical wilderness areas that are both economically and ecologically appropriate.

A further discussion outlined how wild horses can currently be rewilded using existing law (Humane Transfer of Excess Animals Act: H.R. 1625).

Other questions from the audience included those involving evolution of wild horses and native species status, depredation by north American apex predators, and the current dire situation for wild horses created by the failed Adoption Incentive Programs (‘AIP’).

This talk and Q&A session was filmed, and we hope to have that presentation online for viewing sometime next week. It’s a massive video file (~40 Gigabytes).

The music video (“We Are the Wild Horses”) produced by a diverse collective of all volunteers around saving wild horses and presented by Wild Horse Fire Brigade WON the Winnie Award (top honor) in the category of “wild horse music videos.” “We Are the Wild Horses” premiered at the 10th Annual EQUUS Film Fest in Sacramento, CA and was very well received by the audience and is now online, full length, for everyone to enjoy and share:

NOTE: You don’t need any account or signup – just watch!

  1. On Twitter: https://twitter.com/OfficialWHFB/status/1600280004083990528
  2. On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialWHFB/posts/pfbid0ErJTsCvRPCrvq3CXpiZC51KjvZfanMpojiQZ6qN3e5X6sSQsZsfsHts3oXtDQzCHl
  3. On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWINUpdiomc

The diverse team at Wild Horse Fire Horse Fire Brigade believes that music is an important way to educate others in a way that opens hearts and minds about the importance of American wild horses. We have more good stuff in the pipeline that we’ll be reporting later in the month.

The entire team at Wild Horse Fire Brigade wishes everyone a great holiday season!

Please visit www.wildhorsefirebrigade.org.