LEAVING WILD HORSES & BURROS ON WESTERN RANGES OFFER SECRETARIES JEWELL & VILSACK COST-EFFECTIVE MEASURES FOR PREVENTING FIRES

FIRES RAGE OUT IN THE WEST WHILE WILD HORSE AND BURRO ROUNDUPS CONTINUE, DESPITE POSITIVE IMPACT OF WILD EQUIDS AS PERFECT FUEL LOAD REDUCERS

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 18, 2013) – Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Senator Tom Udall will announce a federal, local and private collaboration to reduce the risks of wildfire to America’s water supply on Friday, July 19 in Ft. Collins, CO. Representatives from the Cloud Foundation (TCF) will attend the meeting to bring attention to the benefits of wild horses and burros on ranges in reducing the risk of fires while improving water resources.

”The increased ability of soils to retain water in equid-occupied ecosystems proves of crucial importance in restoring water sources in mountains and in elevating water tables in valleys, particularly in desert areas,” states wildlife ecologist, Craig Downer, TCF board member and author of Wild Horse Conspiracy. “Along with the major elimination of dry, flammable vegetation by equids, a healthier watershed works to reduce and prevent catastrophic fires.”

Removal of wild horses and burros from the range has resulted in major fires in more than one instance. At the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area in California and Nevada, major fires occurred two years after the removal of large numbers of wild horses, and in Spring Range and Red Rock areas of Nevada, over thirty thousand acres were burned in a series of fires after the BLM almost entirely eliminated the wild horses from their herd areas.

The Cloud Foundation has long advocated for on the range management of wild horses and burros instead of costly and unsustainable roundups. Currently fewer than 30,000 wild horse and burros range on public lands, while over 50,000 are in holding facilities. By following the National Academy of Science recommendations to manage horses and burros on the range, the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service have the opportunity to not only reduce taxpayer burdens but help reduce the ongoing risks of fires.

Location and time:
Horsetooth Reservoir Park: Outdoor ‘Sunrise Day’ grounds
591 North Country Road 23
Fort Collins, Colo.

9:00 AM Friday, July 19th

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Media Contacts:

Paula Todd King
Board Member, Director of Communications
843-592-0720

Northern Colorado Contact:

Linda Hanick
Board Member
970-222-1189
 
Lauryn Wachs
Associate Director, The Cloud Foundation
617-894-6939

The Cloud Foundation (TCF) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of wild horses and burros on our western public lands.