For Immediate Release
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. 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's (BLM) 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.
"Herd-Watch will remove our wild herds from the ranks of the anonymous. Through the work of dedicated volunteers, the public will learn about each amazing herd 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.
1971 Free Roaming Wild Horses and Burros Act