The Cloud Foundation Takes Action with Herd-Watch: Public Eyes for Public Horses
47% of wild horse and burro herds have been zeroed out by BLM since 1971
Colorado Springs, CO (April 29, 2010)—Today the Cloud Foundation launches Herd-Watch, an innovative volunteer program to monitor wild horse and burro herds as well as roundups across the West. The iconic horses and burros are currently being managed to virtual extinction, contrary to the 1971 Free Roaming Wild Horses and Burros Act. From this day on, Herd-Watch will: watchdog America’s wild horses and burros, provide increased public visibility, monitor the range conditions and the mustang, burro and livestock numbers as well as keep tabs on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM’s) plans for “management” of each treasured American Herd.
“The more the public knows about our wild herds, the more deeply they will care about their preservation. Through Herd-Watch we will educate and inform the public while protecting an American treasure,” explains Project Manager Laura Leigh of Nevada. “Herd-Watch is an exciting and interactive new development facilitating improved protections for our wild herds and, we hope, an improved dialogue with both the BLM and Forest Service.”
A central database will keep tabs on each of America’s remaining 180 herds on public lands in ten Western States and their ranges. According to BLM, in 1971 339 wild herds were designated for protection. Since then the BLM and Forest Service have zeroed out 159 herds, including 12 in Nevada just last year. Volunteer teams will log and catalog data, photos and information following their visits to the range. The Cloud Foundation hopes that BLM and Forest Service officials will welcome the increased interest and monitoring of wild herds at no cost to taxpayers.
Interested members of the public are encouraged to visit www.thecloudfoundation.org to volunteer, donate and learn more about Herd Watch and America’s wild herds.
“Herd-Watch will remove our wild herds from the ranks of the anonymous. Through the work of dedicated volunteers, the public will learn about the amazing world of wild horses and burros and what can be done to preserve them for all time, as the Wild Horse and Burro Act intended,” states Ginger Kathrens, Cloud Foundation Executive Director and Emmy award-winning producer whose Cloud documentaries have educated a world public about the rich lives of wild horses.
The Cloud Foundation is pleased to announce “Herd-Watch,” a dedicated public observation effort of our American herds of wild horses and burros across ten Western states. Dedicated volunteers are needed for this effort both on and off the range.
More about Herd-Watch:
The purpose is to create a concise database of information that tracks public lands range health, gather operations and the disposition of American wild equids. The database will be utilized as a tool to educate and inform the public to provide accurate responses in the public process of democratic government. The database could also be utilized by groups or agencies tasked with the historical documentation of American heritage.
Currently conflicting information about subjects surrounding American herds exists. Concise, available information about range health, populations in the wild and in holding facilities, roundup mortality, range health including areas previously “zeroed out” etc. does not exist in a single database.
Teams will be provided with the necessary tools to perform each facet of the project. Written guides detailing what they are observing, how to document and track data, and behavioral protocol will be formulated and distributed. Conferences will be held via Internet or in person to ensure accurate documentation.
Data will be formatted by each team leader and loaded into a closed access website. Data will also be stored in a central location.
High school age students will be given the opportunity to participate via an interactive webpage. Not only instructors in the disciplines of science and biology who introduce concepts of conservation, but also instructors of mathematics to demonstrate statistics, will be able to utilize the webpage and introduce students to these disciplines.
Through the distribution of this material, both written and photographic to the American public, we can begin to educate and inform people about protecting this American treasure.
If you would like to volunteer contact: HerdWatch@gmail.com
Please send your questions to: CalicoHorses@gmail.com
- Help support Herd-Watch and keep gas in the tank! Click here for details on how to help and visit the CafePress store too!
- Note that the Cloud Foundation is the only way to donate to Herd-Watch. Please contact us if you’re interested in making regular monthly contributions to this important volunteer program for our wild herds!