BLM Wild Horse Management Adding Fuel To Wildfire Flames!

At a time when we need more large-bodied herbivores like wild horses grazing-off grass and brush wildfire fuels in and around rural and wilderness lands (public and private), we have the obtuse removal of wild horses from remote wilderness areas by the BLM.

Get The Full Seth Klarman Series in PDF

Get the entire 10-part series on Seth Klarman in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues.

Q2 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

The actions of the BLM Lakeview Oregon Office are benefiting a handful of profit motivated people at the expense of the health, safety and welfare of many Americans!

A Look At The Portfolio Of Billionaire Charlie Munger

Charlie MungerCharlie Munger is one of the world's greatest investors. Over the past six decades, he's helped his business partner and friend, Warren Buffett, turn a struggling textile business called Berkshire Hathaway into one of America's largest firms. Q3 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more If you’re looking for value stocks, and


Illegal Pokegama Roundup

TO: Mr. Todd Forbes - District Manager

BLM Lakeview Oregon Office; and, Et. Al.

James Price - BLM

Kevin Healey - BLM

Robert Sharp - BLM

CC: James Buchal - Attorney At Law

Elizabeth Burghard - BLM District Manager Medford

Lauren Brown - BLM Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Manager

Mr. James E. Smith - Siskiyou County Agricultural Commissioner

Eleonore Blume - California Assistant Attorney General

Congressman Greg Walden

Oregon Representative Dennis Linthicum

Carla Bowers - Wild Horse Advocate

Marybeth Devlin - Wild Horse Advocate

Kathleen Hayden - Wild Horse Advocate

Senator Alan DeBoer - Wild Horse Advocate

Britt Ivy-Boice - Wild Horse Advocate

Darice Massey - Wild Horse Advocate

Shannon Watt - Wild Horse Advocate

Michael Harris - Attorney - Friends Of Animals

Jennifer Best - Attorney - Friends Of Animals

Concerned Citizens, News Agencies, and Wild Horse/Wildlife Advocates

RE: Illegal Pokegama Roundup

September 19, 2020 - Via Email Only

Dear Mr. Forbes:

Your reply demonstrates the BLM's proven lack of concern for the will of the American people in general, and who do not support the BLMs methods and tactics. And as we can now clearly see employs tactics that essentially only serve a select few people who directly benefit by the BLM's highly questionable methods, instead of serving the best interests of Americans as a whole in the management of their natural resources.

Your current management methods are, according to the best science, jeopardizing the health, safety and welfare of Americans by increasing wildfire fuels via your flawed management.

You responded to my legal citations and authority therein with nothing more than hearsay opinions; not a shred of relevant legal citation. And that's because you have none. You seem to expect Americans like me to just trust the BLM? I am sorry sir, but the BLM has rightfully earned a reputation for being not worthy of any trust.

The corruption and malfeasance at the BLM now seems to arguably top any other government agency... here are just three of many examples, one concerns the recent blatant misrepresentation made to the Congress of the United States, and a corrupt BLM employee from the Medford, Oregon District Office:

1) Former BLM Official (Medford, OR) Pleads Guilty to Public Corruption Charges Sophisticated Contract Manipulation Scheme Defrauds BLM of Over $400,000 https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/portland/press-releases/2010/pd041610

2) Inspector General Report Confirms Mass Slaughter of Wild Horses During Reign of Then-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/inspector-general-report_b_8393670

3) The BLM made a material misrepresentation to the Congress of the Unites States of America in their 2018 'Report To Congress Management Options For A Sustainable Wild Horse And Burro Program', where on page-1, paragraph 5 of the Executive Summary the BLM wrote:

"Wild horses and burro have no natural predators...".

That statement is absolutely false in the face of wildlife ecology and evolution (what we 'science'). Mountain lions, bears, wolves, and coyotes kill and eat the foals and adults as their natural prey. Such depredation of wild horses is common knowledge and is very well documented in my recent published Study: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/6a30c6_98642a78546849f0a94e2687cdf35654.pdf

Open Range Law (second time provided to you)

Herein below is the Law regarding 'open-range', which generally applies (and specifically to California's Siskiyou County) to livestock, including horses (feral or domestic) on the open range in Oregon Counties (Jackson and Klamath) and where an ownership claim is asserted):

Siskiyou County is a county chiefly devoted to grazing and brands are NOT required for livestock (including horses) to be grazing on the open range:

County is deemed to be a county "devoted chiefly to grazing".

Under § 17122,

In any county or part of a county devoted chiefly to grazing and so declared pursuant to this article, a person shall not have the right to take up any estray animal found upon his premises, or upon premises to which he has the right of possession, nor shall he have a lien thereon, unless the premises are entirely enclosed with a good and substantial fence.

Siskiyou County is a county chiefly devoted to grazing.

In addition, under § 17128,

The act entitled “An act concerning lawful fences, and animals, trespassing upon lawfully enclosed lands,” passed March 30, 1850 (Ch. 49, Stats. 1850), and an act entitled “An act concerning lawful fences in the Counties of San Bernardino, Colusa, Shasta, Tehama and Placer,” approved April 18, 1859 (Ch. 266, Stats. 1859), insofar as the provisions of each of the acts apply to or affect the Counties of Trinity, Shasta, except that portion described in Section 17126, and Siskiyou, are continued in force, except as to goats, swine, or hogs, which may be taken up in the counties when the goats, swine or hogs estray or trespass on lands of others. The provisions of this chapter apply to goats, swine, or hogs in such counties, but in all other respects the acts specified in this section are continued in full force therein, it being determined that the conditions prevailing in the Counties of Trinity, Shasta, except that portion described in Section 17126, and Siskiyou demand the continued application of the acts in the counties until such time as action is taken pursuant to Section 17124.

The foregoing authority makes Siskiyou County an open-range county imposing upon Green Diamond Resource Company (LINK to PDF Complaint by Green Diamond Resource Company obtained via FOIA), as well as the Gibson, Fall Creek and Stevey ranches, a duty and responsibility to maintain a lawful fence around any property contiguous to open-range they wish to remain free of wandering horses (or any other livestock).

Section 17121 provides:

A lawful fence is any fence which is good, strong, substantial, and sufficient to prevent the ingress and egress of livestock. No wire fence is a good and substantial fence within the meaning of this article unless it has three tightly stretched barbed wires securely fastened to posts of reasonable strength, firmly set in the ground not more than one rod apart, one of which wires shall be at least four feet above the surface of the ground. Any kind of wire or other fence of height, strength and capacity equal to or greater than the wire fence herein described is a good and substantial fence within the meaning of this article. The term “lawful fence” includes cattle guards of such width, depth, rail spacing, and construction as will effectively turn livestock.

County is deemed to be a county "devoted chiefly to grazing".

Under § 17122,

In any county or part of a county devoted chiefly to grazing and so declared pursuant to this article, a person shall not have the right to take up any estray animal found upon his premises, or upon premises to which he has the right of possession, nor shall he have a lien thereon, unless the premises are entirely enclosed with a good and substantial fence.

Siskiyou County is a county chiefly devoted to grazing.

In addition, under § 17128,

The act entitled “An act concerning lawful fences, and animals, trespassing upon lawfully enclosed lands,” passed March 30, 1850 (Ch. 49, Stats. 1850), and an act entitled “An act concerning lawful fences in the Counties of San Bernardino, Colusa, Shasta, Tehama and Placer,” approved April 18, 1859 (Ch. 266, Stats. 1859), insofar as the provisions of each of the acts apply to or affect the Counties of Trinity, Shasta, except that portion described in Section 17126, and Siskiyou, are continued in force, except as to goats, swine, or hogs, which may be taken up in the counties when the goats, swine or hogs estray or trespass on lands of others. The provisions of this chapter apply to goats, swine, or hogs in such counties, but in all other respects the acts specified in this section are continued in full force therein, it being determined that the conditions prevailing in the Counties of Trinity, Shasta, except that portion described in Section 17126, and Siskiyou demand the continued application of the acts in the counties until such time as action is taken pursuant to Section 17124.

The foregoing authority makes Siskiyou County an open range county imposing upon Green Diamond Resource Company, as well as the Gibson, Fall Creek and Stevey ranches, a duty to put a lawful fence around any property it wishes to remain free of wandering horses (or any other livestock).

Section 17121 provides:

A lawful fence is any fence which is good, strong, substantial, and sufficient to prevent the ingress and egress of livestock. No wire fence is a good and substantial fence within the meaning of this article unless it has three tightly stretched barbed wires securely fastened to posts of reasonable strength, firmly set in the ground not more than one rod apart, one of which wires shall be at least four feet above the surface of the ground. Any kind of wire or other fence of height, strength and capacity equal to or greater than the wire fence herein described is a good and substantial fence within the meaning of this article. The term “lawful fence” includes cattle guards of such width, depth, rail spacing, and construction as will effectively turn livestock.

Secondly: The cited Law is binding upon both private and government lands and their managers/owners; that includes the BLM in the Medford District, whose state line fencing (CA-OR) is down (literally on the ground) and missing in large stretches, possibly accounting for tens of miles of fencing that is required by law if you intend to assert any control of livestock over the open range.

The reasoning and logic behind the fencing requirement for lands contiguous to open-range is obvious, but nevertheless seems to escape you, Green Diamond Resource Company, and the Fall Creek Ranch ranchers, who have fences that are manifestly defective, down and missing, and fail to meet the legal requirements as cited.

As such, when livestock wander into areas that are required to 'fence-out', whether it's state or federal lands in Oregon/California, the civil and potential criminal liability for trapping or rounding-up any and selling (conversion) such animals falls onto land owner(s)/manager(s) who have failed to comply with having a 'lawful fence'.

And any action taken to deprive any person(s) with an ownership claim of livestock (includes what some onlookers might see as feral horses) of their property is unlawful and if any such property is sold, that is a criminal offense ('conversion').

The BLM is not above the law (as we have read, they can be prosecuted individually) and is allegedly obfuscating and misrepresent facts to legislative and elected officials, as well as onlookers of this travesty of mismanagement.

Green Diamond Resource Company MUST reestablish 'lawful fences' as must Fall Creek Creek Ranch (and other involved ranches); that is the law.

Bob Edwards (former 30-year BLM District Manager and Wild Horse Manager) spilled the beans on the BLM's misrepresentations and flawed mismanagement of wild horses in this NBC News interview:

Even as I write this, thousands of homes (including some farms/ranches) have been lost in Oregon and California just in this wildfire season due to wildfires. According to the wildfire forensics provided by CAL-FIRE, USFS and ODF these abnormally hot incinerating wildfires are fueled and kindled primarily by grass and brush (1-hour class fuels), which happen to be the primary food of large-bodied herbivores such as wild horses.

And at time, as wildfire season continues, when we need more, not less, wildfire grazers in and around rural and wilderness landscapes to reduce grass and brush fuels, we find that you are engaging in the obtuse removal of the few native species wild horses remaining on our American landscape.

Jozef Keulartz:

"The removal of large herbivores has adverse effects on landscape structure and ecosystem functioning. In wetter ecosystems, the loss of large herbivores is associated with an increased abundance of woody plants and the development of a closed-canopy vegetation. In drier ecosystems, reductions of large grazers can lead to a high grass biomass, and thus, to an increase in the frequency and intensity of wildfires. Together, with the loss of a prey base for large carnivores, these changes in vegetation structures and fire regimes may trigger cascades of extinctions (Bakker et al., 2016; Estes et al., 2011; Hopcraft, Olff, & Sinclair, 2009; Malhi et al., 2016)." http://oxfordre.com/environmentalscience/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780199389414.001.0001/acrefore-9780199389414-e-545

William J. Ripple: Fire

"By altering the quantity and distribution of fuel supplies, large herbivores can shape the frequency, intensity, and spatial distribution of fires across a landscape. There are even unique interactions among large herbivore populations that can influence fire regimes. For example, facilitative interactions between white rhinoceros and mesoherbivores result in reduced fuel loads and fuel continuity, and consequently fewer large, intense fires (71). Other factors can influence the frequency and intensity of fires, particularly in locations where the total area burned is strongly related to ungulate population size. For example, Serengeti wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) populations irrupted after the rinderpest virus was eradicated in the 1960s, and the subsequent increase in grazing pressure led to a widespread reduction in the extent of fires and delayed recovery of tree populations (72). The removal of plant biomass by browsing also reduces fire fuel loads and decreases fire susceptibility. Thus, there is scant evidence of fire in much of Australia until the megafauna disappeared after humans arrived (5)."

If you persist in this illegal, unreasonable and unconscionable roundup, our lawyer (and it seems there may be other lawyers looking at this matter as well) is instructed to bring this matter before a trier of fact, likely to end up in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is where we feel we will find justice.

In closing, I leave you with the testimony of your now retired BLM colleague, Bob Edwards; "the wild horses are not getting a fair shake"....

Regards, Bill

Capt. William E. Simpson II - USMM Ret.

Naturalist - Author - Conservationist

Wild Horse Ranch

P.O. Bx. 202 - Yreka, CA 96097

Creator: Wild Horse Fire Brigade (www.WHFB.us)

Author @ HorseTalk

Member: IMDb

Check out my FilmFreeway account for films, studies, TV & radio interviews, and more HERE.+

-----Original Message-----
From: Forbes, James (Todd) T <[email protected]>
To: Bill Simpson <[email protected]>
Cc: Colleen Roberts <[email protected]>; Bushue, Barry R <[email protected]>; Stangl, Kathryn J <[email protected]>; Curtis, Todd M <[email protected]>; Hopper, Robert G <[email protected]>; Sharp, Robert N <[email protected]>; Price, James W <[email protected]>; Heatley, Kevin B <[email protected]>; Stewart, Tyler W <[email protected]>; Burghard, Elizabeth R <[email protected]>; Mata, Jennifer L <[email protected]>; James Buchal <[email protected]>
Sent: Thu, Sep 17, 2020 4:25 pm
Subject: RE: [EXTERNAL] Illegal Pokegama Roundup ('gather')

Hello Mr. Simpson,

Thanks for taking the time to talk this week regarding the Pokegama nuisance gather. I want to reiterate that we in no way are looking to remove ANY domestic horses from the Pokegama Herd Management Area (HMA) or surrounding area. We are only responding to the private landowners request to remove BLM wild horses from their private lands. The photo that you reference below was a random photo that the newspaper pulled from a Flickr photo site, this was not a photo that BLM submitted and it does not depict Pokegama horses. The “rope” that you reference is a short piece of cord that holds a numbered tag. These numbered tags are assigned to horses that are in BLM corrals for identification purposes. I’ve attached an example photo with a side view in another stock BLM photo from the Flickr website.

Also, thank you for citing the California rules regarding livestock. I have also researched this with both the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDA) and the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA). They both indicated that when an animal crosses state lines, it becomes subject to the laws of the state where it is located, therefore the California rules that you referenced only apply to animals in California and do not apply once those animals cross into Oregon. Both the CDA and ODA went further to explain that the incidental capture of livestock owned by someone else, even on unfenced open range lands, does not violate any of their respective rules as long as those livestock are not removed. This makes sense, since it is common for estray animals to get “mixed in” with animals owned by another landowner. If capturing any of these animals was not allowed, no one would ever be able to separate their animals from those owned by another individual. Again, we do not intend to remove any horses that we can identify as domestic. We use several factors to identify domestic horses, including, horses with a private brand, males that are gelded, any saddle marks remaining on the horse, and/or any evidence that their feet do not show natural hoof wear. There are also the horses that are obviously domesticated due their demeanor. We do not intend to remove these horses.

Thank you for your interest in the Pokegama herd.

Cheers, Todd


Who Should Americans Blame For Incinerating Flames And Deadly Smoke From Wildfire?

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Simpson <[email protected]>
To: List
Sent: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 12:48 pm

TO: Elizabeth Burhard - BLM District Manager Medford, OR

Lauren P. Brown - Manager - Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument

CC: Et. Al.

RE: Who Should Americans Blame For Incinerating Flames And Deadly Smoke From Wildfire?

Dear Ms. Burghard and Ms. Brown:

Enjoying our "hazardous air"? It stems from obtuse management policies that fail to observe the reality of science instead of politics, egos and money.

At a time when we need all the fuels (grass and brush) reduction and maintenance we can muster, here we discover that the Bureau of Land Management ('BLM') is removing large herbivores (nature's grass and brush mowers) from our landscape locally and nationally, which is already deficient in large herbivores according to the best science.

The following statement is relevant in regard to the removal of wild horses from the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument and areas surrounding the Monument, like the Soda Mountain Wilderness Area and the Pokegama Herd Management Area, where the BLM is idiotically rounding up wild horses (aka: large herbivores) this coming week.

Jozef Keulartz:

"The removal of large herbivores has adverse effects on landscape structure and ecosystem functioning. In wetter ecosystems, the loss of large herbivores is associated with an increased abundance of woody plants and the development of a closed-canopy vegetation. In drier ecosystems, reductions of large grazers can lead to a high grass biomass, and thus, to an increase in the frequency and intensity of wildfires. Together, with the loss of a prey base for large carnivores, these changes in vegetation structures and fire regimes may trigger cascades of extinctions (Bakker et al., 2016; Estes et al., 2011; Hopcraft, Olff, & Sinclair, 2009; Malhi et al., 2016)." http://oxfordre.com/environmentalscience/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780199389414.001.0001/acrefore-9780199389414-e-545

Additionally, you should be taking more of a leadership role in controlling your subordinate, Mr. Joel Brumm of your Bureau of Land Management ('BLM') office and his obtuse rantings (in public) that are both scientifically and legally incorrect, when he says: "wild horses are trespass animals in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument ('Monument')". Mr. Brumm's blathering in this regard is just nonsense in the face of real science and arguably incorrect in the face of the law.

We all need to keep in mind that 'administrative policy' does not supersede established law or Acts of Congress, which represent the will of the American people as a whole, as opposed to the whims of some administrative fiefdom and it's ruler (dictatorship), as has been the case at the BLM.

The corruption and malfeasance at the BLM now seems to arguably top any other government agency... here are just three of many examples, one concerns a BLM employee from the Medford District Office:

1) Former BLM Official (Medford, OR) Pleads Guilty to Public Corruption Charges Sophisticated Contract Manipulation Scheme Defrauds BLM of Over $400,000 https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/portland/press-releases/2010/pd041610

2) Inspector General Report Confirms Mass Slaughter of Wild Horses During Reign of Then-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/inspector-general-report_b_8393670

3) The BLM make a material misrepresentation to the Congress of the Unites States of America in their 2018 Report To Congress 'Management Options For A Sustainable Wild Horse And Burro Program', where on page-1, paragraph 5 of the Executive Summary they wrote: "Wild horses and burro have no natural predators...". That statement is false in the face of wildlife ecology and evolution. Mountain lions, bears, wolves, and coyotes kill and eat the foals and adults as their natural prey. Such depredation of wild horses is very well documented in my recent published Study: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/6a30c6_98642a78546849f0a94e2687cdf35654.pdf

In addition to all the local cultural archaeology that soundly documents the presence of wild horses in and around the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument and Soda Mountain Wilderness Area over the last 300-years, the local newspaper records from the late 1800's and early 1900's documented 'hundreds' of wild horses as living in the area of the present-day Monument as symbionts, keeping it safe from catastrophic wildfire. Furthermore, there is paleontological (fossil) evidence of wild horses in the same area; meaning a presence of thousands of years in the area.

Then as documented history shows; the Bureau of Land Management (mismanagement?) shows up in the year 2000 and without any compliance with public notice and other regulations, starts quietly removing wild horses in violation of The Federal Land Policy and Management Act ('FLPMA') regulations and the 1971 Wild Burro and Horse Protection Act, pursuant to:

1) The Federal Land Policy and Management Act, or FLPMA required(s) that: “… wild horses and burros shall be considered comparably with other resource values in the formulations of land use plans” 43 CFR Sec. 4700.0-6

2) THE WILD FREE-ROAMING HORSES AND BURROS ACT OF 1971 (PUBLIC LAW 92-195) §1331.

Congressional findings and declaration of policy Congress finds and declares that wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people; and that these horses and burros are fast disappearing from the American scene. It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.

This Act (§1331) was enacted in December 1971, at which time a significant herd of wild horses was present on and around the Monument and Soda Mountain Wilderness Area, both of which are in your current jurisdiction.

In addition to the failure by the BLM when the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument was established in June 2000, those existing local wild horses, heritage wildlife, were a ‘natural resource’ and arguably became a resource also protected under the Antiquities Act, as has been consistent with recent interpretations of the Antiquities Act in regard to preserving bio-diversity of the associated flora and fauna, and are also therefore to be included.

Today, we find that the local BLM office(s) has arguably omitted and failed in providing full and complete disclosure and reporting requirements in land planning under FLPMA, obfuscated facts and has arguably violated their fiduciary duty to the public to protect the local wild horses on the Monument, where there are also wild horse fossils reported; of course that is another inconvenient truth.

It's important to note that the statute of limitation on fraud begins when a fraud is discovered; let this be notice of that fraud being discovered.

We also know that:

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California recognized wild horses as native species, explaining that BLM “establishes Appropriate Management Levels (“AMLs”) for populations of native species – including wild horses, burros, and other wildlife – and introduced animals, such as livestock.” In Defense of Animals, et al. v. U.S. Dept. Interior, et al., No. 12-17804, *6 (9th Cir. May 12, 2014). On Sep 28, 2011 (See Craters AR at 16698. Memorandum Decision & Order) the court addressed “sensitive” species pursuant to BLM’s 2001 Special Status Species Policy. This Policy requires that “sensitive” species be afforded, at a minimum, the same protections as candidate species for listing under the ESA. It called on BLM managers to “obtain and use the best available information deemed necessary to evaluate the status of special status species in areas affected by land use plans …” See Policy at § 6840.22A. Under the Policy, those land use plans “shall be sufficiently detailed to identify and resolve significant land use conflicts with special status species without deferring conflict resolution to implementation-level planning.”

Native species wild horses have been in the Monument for more than 200 years according to cultural archaeology, thousands of years based on the local fossil record (in the Monument), and for 55-million years in North America. While homosapiens as a species are barely 250,000 years on the planet... If anything, Joel Brumm may be the 'trespass animal' in the Monument and on the planet?

If we keep ignoring the genuine facts, and sidestepping truth and our duty to do what is truly correct just to get that retirement check (if we can make it past the deadly flames and toxic smoke), there may not be much left to retire into! Think on that for a minute....

Thank you,

Regards, William E. Simpson II - Naturalist


Email To BLM Wild Horse Advocates

From: Bill Simpson <[email protected]>
Sent: Tuesday, September 15, 2020 11:15 PM
To: Forbes, James (Todd) T <[email protected]>; Heatley, Kevin B <[email protected]>; [email protected]; Sharp, Robert N <[email protected]>; [email protected]; Price, James W <[email protected]>
Cc: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; Bill Simpson <[email protected]>
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Illegal Pokegama Roundup ('gather')

This email has been received from outside of DOI - Use caution before clicking on links, opening attachments, or responding.

TO: Mr. Todd Forbes - District Manager

BLM Lakeview Oregon Office, et. al.

James Price - BLM

Kevin Healey - BLM

Robert Sharp - BLM

CC: James Buchal - Attorney At Law

Mr. James E. Smith - Siskiyou County Agricultural Commissioner

Carla Bowers - Wild Horse Advocate

Marybeth Devlin - Wild Horse Advocate

Kathleen Hayden - Wild Horse Advocate

Senator Alan DeBoer - Wild Horse Advocate

Britt Ivy-Boice - Wild Horse Advocate

Darice Massey - Wild Horse Advocate

Shannon Watt - Wild Horse Advocate

Michael Harris - Attorney - Friends Of Animals

Jennifer Best - Attorney - Friends Of Animals

September 15, 2020 - Via Email Only - Illegal Pokegama Roundup

Dear Mr. Forbes:

Thank you for your call today, which was the very first time we have talked in any format. And per your request, I have included herein the information that you requested. I am hopeful, we can resolve this situation before it gets out of control.

So, in no particular order allow me recap and detail the points of our lengthy conversation about the Pokegama roundup:

First, I want to make it clear that the native horses on the Pokegama Herd Management Area ('HMA') are known to be wild 'Kiger' horses.

Generally, the appearance of a Kiger is distinctly different from the Arabs, Appaloosas and Quarter Horses (and crossbreeds) that we have roaming on our lands in Siskiyou County and the associate open-range, generally in California.

Here is a general description of the 'Kiger' horse that is expected on and around the Pokegama HMA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiger_mustang.

This disturbing photo from a newspaper report (https://www.heraldandnews.com/news/local_news/wild-horse-gathering-near-keno-to-begin-next-week/article_a415b9f4-6104-5cd5-b302-68fb7f2d33a5.html) of your Pokegama roundup you have allegedly begun shows a family of horses, which are not of Kiger lineage, and moreover are a family of horses that clearly have an Appaloosa (grey Appi mare right of center) member, and alarmingly look very similar to one of our privately owned family bands. I also concerned about their well-being because I can see blue rope (broken-off from excessive force) hanging from the necks of at least two of the horses in the photo herein below:

2) At no time have I suggested to you that I didn't care about our community's (Iron Gate Community) horses or their location.

Since rancher's (Gibson family, Fallcreek ranch and Stevey ranch) cattle come down Copco Road every spring and graze my private lands, it may be possible that some of our community horses that roam on the open range might go up Copco Road and east of Jenny Creek in Siskiyou County. And possibly beyond and into Oregon due to a failure of private and government land owners/managers to maintain their 'fence-out' obligation under the law.

I have (October 2019) photographed and reviewed the dilapidated and downed BLM fences with both of the BLM District Office Managers (Ms. Burghard and Ms. Brown) during a guided tour I provided to them last year. They both witnessed just a tiny part of how bad the fencing problem is, and remains.

Like the numerous other private land owners down around Iron Gate Lake, I very much care about all of community's horses, both their welfare and location. These horses were instrumental in the wildfire fuels reduction that helped to save our lands (and the Monument) from burning during the Klamathon Wildfire. And since that fire was moving westerly at an incredibly fast pace, had it not been stopped, the ranchers to the east of Jenny Creek would have likely lost their ranches to the fire.

Moreover, since the ranchers up at the end of Copco Road (Gibson Ranch, Stevey Ranch and Fall Creek Ranch) along with the Green Diamond Resource Company have lost fencing integrity in many areas in both Oregon and California that separate their private lands as well as lands they claim grazing rights upon, from open range lands in Siskiyou County California, Jackson and Klamath County Oregon, the California livestock (including all horses) that may wander into un-fenced areas are not required to comply with Oregon open-range laws.

Both private and government entities are required to maintain the integrity of their fencing if they wish to keep horses off the lands they claim rights upon.

Here is the law (our attorney [James Buchal] may be aware of more):

County is deemed to be a county "devoted chiefly to grazing".

Under § 17122,

In any county or part of a county devoted chiefly to grazing and so declared pursuant to this article, a person shall not have the right to take up any estray animal found upon his premises, or upon premises to which he has the right of possession, nor shall he have a lien thereon, unless the premises are entirely enclosed with a good and substantial fence.

Siskiyou County is a county chiefly devoted to grazing.

In addition, under § 17128,

The act entitled “An act concerning lawful fences, and animals, trespassing upon lawfully enclosed lands,” passed March 30, 1850 (Ch. 49, Stats. 1850), and an act entitled “An act concerning lawful fences in the Counties of San Bernardino, Colusa, Shasta, Tehama and Placer,” approved April 18, 1859 (Ch. 266, Stats. 1859), insofar as the provisions of each of the acts apply to or affect the Counties of Trinity, Shasta, except that portion described in Section 17126, and Siskiyou, are continued in force, except as to goats, swine, or hogs, which may be taken up in the counties when the goats, swine or hogs estray or trespass on lands of others. The provisions of this chapter apply to goats, swine, or hogs in such counties, but in all other respects the acts specified in this section are continued in full force therein, it being determined that the conditions prevailing in the Counties of Trinity, Shasta, except that portion described in Section 17126, and Siskiyou demand the continued application of the acts in the counties until such time as action is taken pursuant to Section 17124.

The foregoing authority makes Siskiyou County an open range county imposing upon Green Diamond Resource Company, as well as the Gibson, Fall Creek and Stevey ranches, a duty to put a lawful fence around any property it wishes to remain free of wandering horses (or any other livestock).

Section 17121 provides:

A lawful fence is any fence which is good, strong, substantial, and sufficient to prevent the ingress and egress of livestock. No wire fence is a good and substantial fence within the meaning of this article unless it has three tightly stretched barbed wires securely fastened to posts of reasonable strength, firmly set in the ground not more than one rod apart, one of which wires shall be at least four feet above the surface of the ground. Any kind of wire or other fence of height, strength and capacity equal to or greater than the wire fence herein described is a good and substantial fence within the meaning of this article. The term “lawful fence” includes cattle guards of such width, depth, rail spacing, and construction as will effectively turn livestock.

The law is logical since it prevents the current issues from continuing ad nauseam... If the fences were properly in place and maintained pursuant to the law, none of us would be dealing with this.

Finally, in 2019, I spoke with the sister of one of the Gibson family wives, Ms. Jana Toney. Ms. Toney told me and Carla Bower (my colleague) that the Gibson's western fence line was destroyed by the Oregon Gulch Fire in 2014, and they were upset because a few horses were coming into their grazing allotment.

I asked Ms. Toney why they didn't just fix their fence, and she could answer for sure, but thought money was an issue.

I informed Ms. Toney that if they would take some photos and send them to me, I would determine if the horses were from our community, and if so, we'd come get them and bring them back down to our community.

Of course, the problem remains today, and unless they (Green Diamond and the ranchers involved) repair their fences to proper standard, this problem will only continue, and cause a lot of unnecessary litigation and more bad press.

And given this situation, arguably, should any private horses be trapped (and or injured in any way), the Bureau of Land Management (and/or individuals involved) may find themselves involved and charged with the crime of conversion, by trapping horses that are not theirs (even if done on private lands), and then selling them.

"Under California law, you may have not only a criminal claim for theft against someone who takes your property, you may also have a civil claim against them for conversion. Conversion is an intentional tort, which is a type of transgression for which the perpetrator can be held civilly liable."

At a time when we need all the wildfire grazers we can muster onto the landscape to reduce wildfire fuels of grass and brush, it seems insane to be removing any large herbivores. Sometimes, policies need to be reconsidered in the face of new developments.

My suggestion is for logic to take hold and allow cool-heads to take the lead in solving this problem before it gets well out of hand.

Looking forward to your initiative in this matter.

Respectfully Yours,

Bill

Capt. William E. Simpson II - USMM Ret.

Naturalist - Author - Conservationist

Wild Horse Ranch

P.O. Bx. 202 - Yreka, CA 96097

Creator: Wild Horse Fire Brigade (www.WHFB.us)

Author @ HorseTalk

Member: IMDb

Check out my FilmFreeway account for films, studies, TV & radio interviews, and more HERE.