Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Can Wild Horses Help Prevent Wildfires in the West? - Full Article

California naturalist and mustang advocate William Simpson sees a solution in the Wild Horse Fire Brigade.

By: Kim Izzo | July 14, 2021

Many Canadians were shaken by recent wildfires in BC following a historic heat wave. The entire town of Lytton was turned to ash and lives and livelihoods tragically lost. The effect of climate change on our forests cannot be overstated. Year after year we watch south of the border as the catastrophic wildfires destroy millions of acres in California with substantial loss of life and property, as well as economic impacts on business and real estate values. Then there’s the human cost as smoke damages lungs, causing short- and long-term health issues for residents.

An out-of-the-box solution is gaining traction and it involves horses. Called the Wild Horse Fire Brigade Plan, it calls for wild horses (a.k.a. mustangs), to be reintroduced to American forest land to graze away the grass and brush that fuels much of the forest fires. Another benefit to the plan is the reduction of conflict between advocates of wild horses and ranchers, whose cattle compete with the horses for grassland...

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