Horse News

Don’t Americans Owe Wild Horses A Good Turn?

Don’t we owe just a little something back to the wild horses that helped build America and fight its wars?

The mighty wild mountain stallion Zeus

Wild horses were essential to building America, our home. Isn’t that something honest women and men should honor? And if we look at the current massacre of wild horses for money and due to a lack of vision, we see there is no honor or integrity, just greed.

Simply and factually put: there is answer that can save American taxpayers hundreds of $-millions annually, while also saving the remaining wild horses. It’s a square deal all-around.
And even though it might sound crazy, the answer comes directly from the Wild Horses.
First, let’s clear-up some of the confusion and distractions that are clouding the solution that can save taxpayers hundreds of $-millions annually, and the remaining wild horses (less than 30,000 free-roaming in America), before they are all either rounded-up or genetically poisoned, and ultimately made extinct.
1. Too many people talking on social media, in Washington D.C. and on TV, who don’t have the deep understanding and combined empirical experience that is required to actually understand what free roaming wild horses need and want.
There are no shortcuts! 
In order to achieve such understanding, you have to live among free roaming wild horses in real wilderness, and allow them to teach what’s important to them. At its core, this is what is called ‘observational study’. Dr. Jane Goodall pioneered the paradigm of the ’embedded observational scientist’ when she was in Gombe Africa in 1960.
This takes years, which is why you can count the people in America who have this genuine experience with wild horses on one hand.
Too many people want to assert their flawed second-hand assumptions onto wild horses.
2. I have manged livestock and forest lands, and fought a few wildfires.

July 8th 2018: William Simpson served as CAL-FIRE’s local-knowledge advisor on the deadly 38,000 acre Klamathon Fire.

I have looked into the eyes of that fiery beast and breathed its deadly breath, and paid the price. I have first-hand had all of my senses filled by its decimation of landscape and wildlife.

But my experience is not limited to just those things. I was trained as a scientist, and worked in several research labs on graduate thesis projects, as stated in the attached Letter from the prestigious Stanford Research Institute.
But science alone, books, snapshot field-trip observations don’t provide the totality of experience that’s required to fully and holistically comprehend what is genuinely needed for the natural long-term conservation of the few remaining wild horses in America.
I live-among and learn directly from free-roaming wild horses in a remote wilderness.  And yes, I am using a page from Dr. Jane Goodall’s experience. When speaking of her method of embedded observational study, I have coined the term for that study method the ‘Goodall Method’. 
And it has proven effective for Dr. Goodall, and now thanks to her, for my work as well.
My greatest teachers in this case are the Wild Horses.
And why shouldn’t they be? Unlike humans, they have existed in harmony and as symbionts with Nature and the North American landscape over the past 1.7-Million years!  Their ‘knowing’ is now hard-wired into their DNA.
And I have been living among the wild Ones in the wilderness for the past 8-years.
What I have learned from them, not people, is critical in helping them to survive human meddling.
Even with all my years of experience with livestock and forest management, and in science, it is what I have learned directly from Wild Horses that has resulted in the Plan known as Wild Horse Fire Brigade, which is Nature’s Plan to save wild horses.
In 2019, numerous elected officials who know my work nominated me to the BLM’s Wild Burro and Horse Advisory Board.
I was not seated because in my interview call with Mr. Rittenhouse (Head of the BLM WHB Program in 2019) I made it clear that I would not be a ‘go-along to get-along’ member, given their flawed perspectives. For that reason, and their not wanting anyone they couldn’t control, I was not seated. 
Nevertheless, I still established a reserve (see comment by Siskiyou County Agricultural Commissioner in attached Bona-Fides) for wild horses using a novel plan that I developed.
To establish the local wild horse reserve, I bought-up tracks of wilderness lands, and then resold them to absentee owners with deed-restrictions protecting the horses, that have real TEETH. The deed restrictions prohibit any meddling with the wild horses in any way. And these are immediately enforceable in the local civil court.
‘Natural Wildfire Abatement and Forest Protection Plan’, aka: ‘Wild Horse Fire Brigade’ (‘WHFB’)
Rewilding = Taking wild horses out of taxpayer funded confinement (off-range feed lots), and putting them into critical (designated) wilderness areas that are carefully selected and are both ecologically and economically appropriate.
Relocating = When the BLM or USFS announces a coming roundup, a safety net in negotiated such that, if the announced roundup is going to proceed, then, under the WHFB Plan, wild horses would be humanely cowboy-ed (no helicopters) or baited into field holding, and from there, and as unmolested family bands, relocated into remote critical wilderness areas that are carefully selected and are both ecologically and economically appropriate.
The Law:
The existing Law that allows wild horses to be rewilded, and/or, relocated into selected critical (designated) wilderness areas that are both economically and ecologically appropriate is already in place:
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (HUMANE TRANSFER OF EXCESS ANIMALS SEC. 116) to transfer excess wild horses and burros currently in holding to other federal, state, and local government agencies for use as work animals.

H. R. 133—Page 358-359
SEC. 419.
Wildfire grazing is a natural job for wild horses that are re-designated as ‘work animals’.

And, ‘work animals’ can be placed onto county, state and federal lands for wildfire grazing, just as livestock are currently being used in Federal and State forest lands and wilderness, through what are already standard agreements.

I put together the side by side image below for advocates to use, which I feel may be helpful to educate legislators and even some advocates.
Best Regard from myself and ‘Our Herd‘, living naturally, wild and free.
Capt. William E. Simpson II – USMM Ret.

Ethologist – Author – Conservationist 
Wild Horse Ranch
P.O. Bx. 202 – Yreka, CA 96097
Author @ HorseTalk

Member:  IMDb


William E. Simpson II is an ethologist living among and studying free-roaming native species American wild horses. William is the award-winning producer of the micro-documentary film ‘Wild Horses‘.  He is the author of a new Study about the behavioral ecology of wild horses, two published books and more than 150 published articles on subjects related to wild horses, wildlife, wildfire, and public land (forest) management. He has appeared on NBC NEWS, ABC NEWS, theDoveTV and has been a guest on numerous talk radio shows including the Lars Larson Show, the Bill Meyer Show, and on NPR Jefferson Public Radio.

Check out William’s Film Freeway account for films, studies, TV & radio interviews, and more HERE:

6 replies »

  1. Yes, I’m going to copy this great man’s knowledge to my Senators to make them aware of facts instead of fiction told to them by the BLM!
    I honestly do not think they care in the least, but I’m going to try!


  2. 1. What happens to horses and burros on BLM and state land not in fire prone management areas where there is little or no fuel load and a fire brigade is unwarranted?
    2. What is the reproduction rate year to year given death by natural causes on the reserve?
    3. Is there a role for “friendlies” such as ranchers/grazing permitees? Are there other govt entities paying attention to the county ag commission?
    4. What happens to horses segregated by sex and age, gelded, etc when they are rewilded? Compare their social structure and its observed benefits to that of an always wild herd.

    Thank you.


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