Reported from Western Journalism “Last Thursday I had a 30-minute conference call with several members of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s senior staff with regard to the preliminary materials they had received about the initiative known as the Wild Horse Fire Brigade.
The WHFB initiative addresses three exigent issues of significant importance to the DOI, USDA, Bureau of Land Management, and Forestry Service:
1. The current and future disposition of the free-roaming wild horses that have been removed from herd management areas (HMAs) and are currently being warehoused by BLM in corrals. The estimated number of corralled wild horses is approximately 50,000 wild horses;
2. The current and future status of state and national disasters related to the increasing frequency and severity of wildfires that have evolved into annually occurring “megafires” which are deforesting large areas of the United States. These massive super-hot wildfires result in the extensive loss of trees, watersheds, animals, homes, structures, property and human life, and are clearly a threat to the national security of the United States because of their ability to adversely affect critical infrastructures; and
3. The current and ongoing serious population declines in cervid herds (deer, elk, and moose) across America, which is attributable to both disease (chronic wasting disease) and excessive depredation by disproportionately large populations of predators, primarily mountain lions, and coyotes.
This was the result of a lot of help politically from people who care deeply about our wild horses, forests, watersheds, forest animals, and the future of America. One person of great note is Jackson County (Oregon) Commissioner Colleen Roberts, who helped me to climb up a political and governmental organizational ladder with the Wild Horse Fire Brigade initiative.”
Lars spoke with Captain William E Simpson II about the Wild Horse Fire Brigade.