An Open Letter About Public Lands; Wildlife and Forest Management
Sent: Thu, Dec 31, 2020 3:37 pm
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Subject: Ending the Year with A Plan that helps ranchers, foresters, wildlife and our fisheries
TO: Siskiyou County Supervisors
CC: Concerned Legislators, Citizens and Ranchers
Dear Chairman Kobseff, Supervisors:
A Tough Year
This past year has been really tough on all Americans, including our own citizens and taxpayers. And the coming year will likely be even worse yet if some things don't change.
A family of wild horses has symbiotically grazed-in a fire break in the Cascade-Siskiyou Forest at no cost to tax payers.
As Covid escalates and the economy tanks, abnormally hot catastrophic wildfires will continue to incinerate the American west. We now have 'Giga-Fire' (wildfires that are 1-million acres or more in size) for the first time in history.
There is no doubt that these wildfires and the subsequent losses are due to obtuse public land and forest management policies from the same people who ignorantly and recklessly ended logging and a vibrant sustainable forest industry economy in the Pacific Northwest over junk science about the spotted owl. And as we now know, based on the latest science, the spotted owl was being killed and displaced by the larger barred owl, Not Logging.
The Debate About Forest, Land And Wildlife Management
Making matters worse, these same nincompoops who closed down logging and forest industries are now influencing the debate about forest, land and wildlife management. Crazy huh?
Imagine hiring a coach with a LOSING record of football games and hoping to win the Superbowl... that's how it's being done right now!
We need to be pro-active with smarter minds and get in front of the issues with genuine Solutions... Wildfire, Wildlife and Land/Forest Management are key in our geographic regions.
The non-sustainable (wildly expensive, etc.) work-arounds and band-aids that were posited and being used to reduce wildfire have clearly failed, again! How many more lives lost, homes destroyed and tens-of-millions of acres must be incinerated before we learn anything? Our tax base is going to hell as property values plummet. Fire insurance is now as expensive as a mortgage payment, if you can even get it!
As I have written for the past 7-years (over 100-published articles, not emails), there is a clear reason why we now have catastrophic wildfire, instead of the normal wildfire we'd expect on the landscape, and climate is NOT the primary cause for catastrophic wildfire..
In 2020, California burned at a record pace (4.3 million acres in CA alone!), as wildfires get bigger and hotter year over year. A substantial part of that of what was burned were forests, causing so much damage, it's hard to put it all into perspective.
There Is Hope; If Elected Officials Take The Right Action Now!
"By altering the quantity and distribution of fuel supplies, large herbivores can shape the frequency, intensity, and spatial distribution of fires across a landscape”. OSU Forestry Professor William J. Ripple1
Rewilding: 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
Instead of band-aid solutions that cost taxpayers dearly, in money, lives and property loses, we need to just fix the problem, which according to the BEST SCIENCE is caused by a depleted native species herbivory (CA is down about 2-million deer over the past 4-decades)....
We have in hand an outline Draft legislative plan / bill that can accomplish that, which is attached hereto as a PDF.
We're running out of forests and homes to burn. The health implications (morbidity) of inhaled smoke from controlled burns and wildfires is having a huge effect on socialized health care costs, which are also accelerating.
Increase In Covid-19 Mortality Rates
The latest science reported from CELL stated:
"1 μg/m3 PM2.5 was associated with 8% increase in COVID-19 mortality rates.
For lay persons; 1 μg/m3 PM2.5 = 0.001 micro-gram per cubic meter of air containing particulates (from smoke) 2.5 microns in size.
The homeless populations are swelling due to the loss of homes by the thousand from wildfire. Homeless people are now seeking shelter in our riparian areas for water and shelter, as there are in the Bear Creek and other areas of Jackson County and Josephine County.
After wildfires devastate the landscape and vegetative cover and root systems, the erosion runoff heads into the creeks and streams just as fall and winter spawning of salmon and trout are occurring. These sediments (mud and clay) resulting from catastrophic wildfires cover fish eggs and suffocate them, ending the salmon and trout runs in such years... and the tribes haven't figured this one out yet, since they are too focused on dam removals and casinos.
The vision, that some of us have, to someday reestablish a vibrant logging and forest products revenue model in Siskiyou and other counties, is growing dimmer every year we allow wildfire to destroy forests. We are also being harmed by the incentives to accept burning (burgeoning fire suppression businesses, and controlled burn businesses), which are very expensive and costly to our health... All bad in the long-run.
We need to insist on and implement smarter policies... logic must prevail if our County is to survive! That is, unless the plan is to fail and as that happens, drain the life out of people.
Here is an article that outlines an economical path for ranchers and foresters that will save taxpayers hundreds of $-millions annually and it's a path that works year-round solving several problems in one move.
A Draft legislative bill is attached.
Native Species American Wild Horses: Published Scientific References
 MANAGED TO EXTINCTION? A 40th Anniversary Legal Forum assessing the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses & Burros Act; TRANSCRIPT: ROSS MACPHEE, Curator, Division of Vertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History (AMNH): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-zNiS1uqCWZ9PimwJpaVdY7NC57hxdGKDCLXbCEYb8c/edit
 Wild Horses as Native North American Wildlife: https://awionline.org/content/wild-horses-native-north-american-wildlife
 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 addresses “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.”
 Land Held Hostage: A History of Livestock and Politics; Thomas L. Fleischner, Ph.D. https://www.academia.edu/11886843/Fleischner_Land_Held_Hostage_A_History_of_Livestock_and_Politics Citation by: Professor Thomas L. Fleischner, Ph.D: “The most severe vegetation changes of the last 5400 years occurred during the past 200 years. The nature and timing of these changes suggest that they were primarily caused by 19th-century open-land sheep and cattle ranching.”
 Foods of wild horses, deer, and cattle in the Douglas Mountain area, Colorado. Hansen, R. M., Clark, R. C., & Lawhorn, W. (1977). Journal of Range Management, 30(2), 116-118. https://repository.arizona.edu/handle/10150/646893
 Evolution of wild horses and cattle and the effect on range damage; https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2017/09/25/evolution-wild-horses-cattle-effect-range-damage/
 Federal Forestlands In Oregon: https://oregonforests.org/sites/default/files/2017-08/Federal_Forestlands.pdf
 Collapse of the world’s largest herbivores: "By altering the quantity and distribution of fuel supplies, large herbivores can shape the frequency, intensity, and spatial distribution of fires across a landscape”. William J. Ripple1, Thomas M. Newsome1,2,Christopher Wolf1, Rodolfo Dirzo3, Kristoffer T. Everatt4, Mauro Galetti5, Matt W. Hayward4,6, Graham I. H. Kerley4, Taal Levi7, Peter A. Lindsey8,9, David W. Macdonald10, Yadvinder Malhi11, Luke E. Painter7, Christopher J. Sandom10, John Terborgh12 and Blaire Van Valkenburgh13 http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/4/e1400103.full
 Rewilding: 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
 Wild horses: Are they being managed to extinction? William E. Simpson II; https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2018/02/24/wild-horses-managed-to-extinction/
 Cattle Grazing Effects on Macroinvertebrates in an Oregon Mountain Stream; Rangeland Ecology and Management 60(3), 293-303, (1 May 2007) James D. McIver and Michael L. McInnis; https://doi.org/10.2111/1551-5028(2007)60[293:CGEOMI]2.0.CO;2
 Dr. Cassandra Nunez – PhD: Published research: https://www.nrem.iastate.edu/people/cassandra-m-nu%C3%B1ez
 Influence of ruminant digestive processes on germination of ingested seeds; https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/v405sg230
 Ruminant Digestion: https://www.mun.ca/biology/scarr/Ruminant_Digestion.html
 Public lands bear the ecological brunt of livestock grazing: https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2020/11/21/horses-public-lands-ecological-brunt-livestock/
 Wild Horse Fire Brigade - Rebalancing North American Ecosystems: https://grazelife.com/blog/wild-horse-fire-brigade-lessons-in-rebalancing-north-american-ecosystems-by-rewilding-equids/
 Yes world, there were horses in Native culture before the settlers came https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/yes-world-there-were-horses-in-native-culture-before-the-settlers-came-JGqPrqLmZk-3ka-IBqNWiQ
 Project to Reform Public Land Grazing in Northern California https://wildcalifornia.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Annual-Report_2015_final-final.pdf
Capt. William E. Simpson II - USMM Ret.
Naturalist - Author - Conservationist
Wild Horse Ranch
P.O. Bx. 202 - Yreka, CA 96097
Author @ HorseTalk
Muck Rack: https://muckrack.com/william-e-simpson-ii
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