Nature’s way of preventing wildfires – utilize our free roaming wild horses before we lose them
Updated: Feb 15
A law enforcement officer watches flames launch into the air as fire continues to spread at the Bear fire in Oroville, California on September 9, 2020. Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images
By Staci-lee Sherwood
Fire….wildfires….nothing terrifies more people than the thought of being trapped in a fire. The loss of human life, wildlife and destruction of land and property is now in the billions every year due to wildfires. Much like hurricanes in the south the west has seen a steady increase in this natural disaster. Along with the growing number of fires is the growing increase in their size, strength and length of time they last. Add the massive increase in property damage and the domino effect it costs our economy and the current policy of putting out the fires after they start is not sustainable. If there was a way to prevent or even decrease this yearly nightmare wouldn’t it be prudent to explore that?
Wild horses have been here for over a million years and have helped prevent wildfires. There was once a healthy population of millions roaming throughout North America. According to some new studies these catastrophic wildfires we are seeing now did not exist for millions of years when we had huge populations of native herbivore. As human population increased and expanded into the wilderness the population of herbivores dropped. We are now down to a drastically reduced population that actually needs to increase in order to save the ecosystem from total collapse.
One of the problems with government policy is how they cherry pick what species to ‘save’ and which to sacrifice. The reality is all species are sacrificed by these failed policies. One of the most obvious failed policy is the Wild Horse & Burro program. Though full legal protection was granted in 1971 the law designed to protect what was a healthy population at the time was never enforced. In 50 years it has never lived up to its intent or mission. No sooner was the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act signed by former President Nixon than various interest groups started to amend and nullify its intent. Wild horses and burros have been brutally rounded up, abused and sold into slaughter ever since with the blessing of the agency paid to protect them, the rogue Bureau of Land MISmanagment.
Losing our native horses is bad enough but to lose a natural resource that had helped to prevent countless wildfires is another. For all the supposed wisdom of the US Forest Service they have chosen to fill our public lands with non native livestock while exterminating our native wildlife that keeps the forest healthy. This has been a major cause for the increase in wildfires we see today. As we continue to kill off our horses, burros, deer, elk the annual number of wildfires has nowhere to go but up.
There is a way to save our wild horses and help prevent these fires but it will take backbone from politicians and government. It is a very simple idea, just stop the brutal wild horse roundups, stop destroying them with toxic birth control and put them in wilderness areas where there are still predators to keep their population in check. Wild horses have always had predation by wolves, bears and cougars but as those species get hunted to extinction the entire nature order will collapse. This will no doubt bring on more wildfires more death and more devastation. We will have no one to blame but ourselves for refusing to accept nature as nature is intended.
Learn how this natural resource we are losing rapidly due to failed policies of the government can help prevent one of the most terrifying natural disasters. Click this short video clip to hear about wild horses and wildfire prevention.
click here for the full interview with William E. Simpson ll on the Wild Horse Fire Brigade and how this can help prevent deadly wildfires
More food for thought on wildfire costs and failed policies. 'THE COST OF WILDFIRE is often measured in lives lost, buildings destroyed, and acres burned. In California alone, the 2020 wildfire season had, as of mid-October, killed more than 30 people, destroyed some 8,500 structures, and torched a record-breaking 4 million acres of land—double the acreage burned in 2018, the state’s second-worst wildfire season on record.
But the total cost of wildfire extends well beyond these three metrics, starting with the money it takes to contain or suppress the fires—a figure that has grown significantly over the past three decades. There are also less quantifiable metrics that may be even more costly: disruptions to business, taxes, and tourism; residents left with soaring medical bills; and polluted air, soil, and waterways. Federal wildfire suppression costs in the United States have spiked from an annual average of about $425 million from 1985 to 1999 to $1.6 billion from 2000 to 2019, ' according to data from the National Interagency Fire Center.”
The US cannot sustain these costs we will have to get the money from somewhere else to keep paying for all this or keep raising taxes. To read the full article click here https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Publications-and-media/NFPA-Journal/2020/November-December-2020/Features/Wildfire
Just to get an idea of cost to the economy and number of fires we have click here https://www.nifc.gov/fire-information/statistics/suppression-costs
Here is a congressional report of wildfire statistics and cost - chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/viewer.html?pdfurl=https%3A%2F%2Fsgp.fas.org%2Fcrs%2Fmisc%2FIF10244.pdf&clen=623989&chunk=true
Nature knows best and has been around since the beginning of time. The more humans interfere the worse we make things. We can save our wild horses our forests and our homes but it will take a collective battle to make it happen. Let’s hope this happens before we lose the few wild horses we still have left.
For more information about wild horse fire brigade here are 2 more articles
To watch this short award-winning 8min. documentary: Fuel, Fire and Wild Horses https://vimeo.com/327282987
Also published on Pagosa Daily Post February 16, 2022 https://pagosadailypost.com/2022/02/16/opinion-wild-horses-can-help-prevent-forest-fires/
Also published on Emagazine Janaury 17, 2023
Also published on The Good Men Project February 15, 2023