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Depleted Megafauna Causing Wildfires - Reestablishing Large-Bodied Herbivores Via Wild Horses Overlooked By DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke & USDA Sec. Sonny Purdue


Depleted Megafauna Causing Wildfires - Reestablishing Large-Bodied Herbivores Via Wild Horses Overlooked By DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke & USDA Sec. Sonny Purdue

DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke has the solution to west-coast catastrophic wildfires sitting in his corrals

PR Newswire

REDDING, Calif., Aug. 23, 2018 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- According to a study published by American Association for the Advancement of Science:

"By altering the quantity and distribution of fuel supplies, large herbivores can shape the frequency, intensity, and spatial distribution of fires across a landscape."

Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Ryan Zinke, who also has oversight over the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the management of American wild horses, recently toured the devastation in California from evolving catastrophic wildfires and compared it to a "war-zone".

Zinke's California pro-logging tour seemed off-base in an area that is burning largely due to the prodigious annual grass and brush, the kindling and a primary fuel for this year's California Mendocino and Carr megafires and reminiscent of the 2017 Sonoma and Thomas catastrophic wildfires. During his tour Sec. Zinke made no mention of actually dealing with the root of the problem; depleted large-bodied herbivores (aka: megafauna) in the landscape.

California's deer population has declined over the past 5-decades and is now down approximately 2-Million deer. Based upon that depleted deer population, it is a mathematical certainty that these now missing deer had been consuming approximately 2.5-million tons of grass and brush annually (aka: 1-hr. time lag fuels) and in the process maintaining the ground fuel-load to minimal levels year-round. The importance of this cannot be overstated, especially as we examine the $180-billion dollar price tag for the 2017 California wildfire losses.  

According to Author-Naturalist-Rancher William E. Simpson II:

"Due to the depleted state of west-coast (CA & OR) megafauna, many millions of tons of annual unabated grass and brush remains in and around the wildland urban interface (WUI) and forests during the longer and warmer wildfire seasons in the current climate cycle."

"This presents the core problem, which cannot be legitimately mitigated in any manner by logging alone. 'Mowing' such prodigious quantities of grass and brush, as suggested by Sec. Zinke is not practical in many areas, especially wilderness areas where limited access and rough terrain prevents such methodologies. Furthermore, prescribed burning is both risky and produces even more air pollution via toxic wildfire smoke and is just an obtuse suggestion when the use of a mixed herbivory plan can do a better job naturally and without any side effects or costs to taxpayers in many areas."

Over the past 200-years, anthropogenic processes of flawed wildlife and forest management, hunting, loss of habitat (from catastrophic wildfire) and now chronic wasting disease in deer (now in 27 states), have reduced North American megafauna to a fraction of their original populations.

In 1800 it is estimated there were 60-million American Bison present on the North American Continent, and today they are considered a 'near threatened' species even though their current U.S. population numbers about 500,000 bison. In the early 1900's there were approximately 2-million wild horses in America. Today there are less than 120,000 (total includes all corralled horses). Even in light of these facts and the lessons of natural history on the North American continent, Sec. Ryan has proposed to immediately reduce the total population of American wild horses to just 27,000, sending thousands of other native-species American wild horses to Mexican and Canadian meat processors.

Secretary Ryan has the solution right under his nose; he is currently holding approximately 50,000 native-species American wild horses in his BLM corrals. And the USDA-USFS has another 8,000 American wild horses in their corrals, all of which cost Americans more than $100-million annually to keep in confinement. The native-species American wild horses could cost-effectively be re-wilded into carefully selected areas in and around wilderness and wildlands, where they would resume their naturally evolved mutualisms and abate excessive grass and brush.

According to U.S. based researcher and wild horse advocate, Marybeth Devlin:

"Horses originated and evolved in North America. Therefore, they are a native species.  Yet, America's few remaining wild horses are being rounded up, held captive, and sold for slaughter.  However, an innovative, science-based solution has been proposed:  Deploy captive wild horses to remote wilderness areas to graze down excess dry forage that would otherwise fuel megafires.  The 'Wild Horse Fire Brigade' offers a win-win-win benefit:  Prevent catastrophic fires, save $-billions of taxpayer dollars, and release wild horses back to freedom."

Authored by William E. Simpson II, the Natural Wildfire Abatement And Forest Protection Plan (aka: 'Wild Horse Fire Brigade.') examines the benefits of deploying wild horses from BLM and USFS corrals back into and around carefully selected remote forest-wilderness areas (far away from any livestock production areas), which are the most difficult areas to manage due to little or no access, rugged terrain and remote location. These same areas are also pose huge logistical and tactical problems (costly) for wildfire suppression, so reducing the frequency and intensity of wildfire in these areas via a natural grazing herbivory is optimal. In these same areas apex predators are the naturally evolved predators of wild horses and burros and are an integral part of a balanced ecosystem and a functioning evolutionary process of natural selection, thereby preserving the vigor of the species in the wild.

More information about Wild Horse Fire Brigade here:

ABC NEWS coverage on WHFB:

TheDoveTV coverage on WHFB:

'Wild Horses – Micro/Mini Documentary' showing wild horses in balanced ecosystem:


#WildHorses, #Wildfires, #RyanZinke, @ryanzinke, #MendocinoComplex, #CARR, @realDonaldTrump

Media Contact: Wlliam Simpson, Wildhorse Ranch Productions, 8582125762,

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SOURCE William E. Simpson II

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