“One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to the layman. An Ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor that sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.” – Aldo Leopold
Welcome to the world of Wild Horses mis-managed by our government, entirely, of the Apex-Predator kill off for sport and reasoning based on pure ignorance, and natural landscapes considered unuseful unless making money for someone – somehow (oh yes, never forget the livestock mentality – which must make money or else it is of no use — of total ignorance as to what horses or other wildlife is and is not) and to the world of instability, in both the landscapes we inhabit and the economic uncertainty and climate variability.
But many, including myself, see hope out of all this uncertainty – if we can only be truthful about what is ongoing, certainly right there and in front of us all. Like reworking a statue, sculpting with love and pure common-sense reasoning, and taking something that has been destroyed but not beyond repair, and ultimately making it better than it had ever been before. This is what quality people do when saving our wildlife from terrible, abusive people and their inhumane ways of controlling them, as if abuse is a sacrificial option and is okay to do . . . well, it is not at all!
When we discuss “Rewilding” of America’s Wild Horses, we are now discussing yet another option, of many others, rather than use Pesticide PZP or other destructive breed controls that destroy the horse’s physical and mental process (as many science papers state clearly), as well as destructive within our natural environment. These supposed positive ideologies are in reality, not positive at all, but truthfully darting Our American Icons, the Wild Horses’ to extinction.
A “Rewilding” Ideology (or an option of many), can connect Ecological Habitats via Federal Lands, State Lands, Public Lands, and Private Lands together. This situation then becomes one of shared-benefits that can and would protect ecological property values for all involved. Yes, enhancing Ecological Habitats, which in turn enhances the over-all Environmental Landscape, which in the evolution of this type of resolution becomes also profitable, and hardly at any cost to maintain, if at all.
Currently we use Public and Federal Lands for forestry (the cattle portion very corrupt) oil drilling, mining (and lose money yearly for taxpayers in the billions of dollars from either no payments or mismanaged regulatory situations from the very corrupt Bureau of Land Management), and especially cattle grazing – which is a mere 4% of ranchers in the United States (i.e. welfare ranchers), they are a provider of 2.9% of their beef product to the commercial markets, and their sales receipts are less than 1%, and with a 34% throw-away margin (commercial Beef Overall in America USDA Beef Assimilated Stats) we discover no need for our Public Lands to impose upon the taxpayer’s (i.e. $ Billions of dollars yearly for welfare rancher subsidies) any longer, nor the necessity, as truthfully, the taxpayers obtain no benefits, and never have, from BLM’s grazing permit programs, which remain corrupt in total, at almost every phase of these subsidy programs.
When we begin to consider the Wild Horses, true enough, the limitations exist, but those same values that limit the process, also enhance the ecological process. We endeavor to enhance the overall environment, by indeed implementing a process that enhances many ecological habitats. Profoundly, we can establish a system, where diversity within those habitats do exist within wildlife, and use the Trophic Cascade Principles as a working-device to create separate habitats in accord with each ecological island. I am speaking here of Biodiversity and the web of life, more on a continental scale, than a simplified local scale – whereas a local scale of a healthy ecological enhancement process does benefit our overall Environment.
The Lakota Indians have a powerful prayer, “Mitakuye Oyasin,” which means “All My relations” or “We Are All Related.”
What is encompassed within this strategy is taking advantage of the values we have found in keystone predators in maintaining the diversity of life via trophic cascades, is the importance of conservation networks that emphasize core habitat areas as well as corridors, and our dependence on the earth’s services in the form of ecosystem integrity and resilience. We find the greatest impediment being the facts of Rewilding is an unwillingness to imagine it as a reality. But then, we have the Yellowstone National Park and the wolves as an excellent example of “Rewilding”, and yet many want it discontinued, despite the positive nature of that program. This shows us just how broken our Wildlife Management System and government agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management as well as the Department of the Interior, and their corruption, are today.
An effective approach to conservation, the real definition and not the sudo-attempt at conservation through single-species priorities and the hell with the rest of wildlife and vegetation that does not make money that we see today; rather, establishing natural habitats managed toward diversity of wildlife, uphold diversity of acceptable regional vegetation, enhancement of water resources, and doing this responsibly and without hindrance from offset regulatory-systems that simply do not work at all. Then we allow the ecological habitat to mange itself, which also enhances the entire Ecological Habitat through moderation and a natural progression of resources.
“Rewilding” essentially addresses our current and future needs of this before-mentioned network of wildlife reserves, both public and private. This also provides our tools for Ecosystem Management to maintain biodiversity and ecosystems within a broader variety of landscapes, and significant here, a larger base for those lands dominated by multiple-uses. A natural moderation of wildlife population, and of concern here, would be the wild horses and of benefit to all of the diverse wildlife as well as the vegetation and watering resources. Considering here the usefulness of the wild horse and its grazing of invasive vegetation, which restores fundamental indigenous vegetation while reducing any aspects of wildfire happenings. Interesting how a proven circumstance can work, when allowed, when compared with human-interference and human-ignorance not allowing these options to develop. And then, as happens today with both wildlife management and lands management situations, the lies start pouring into the equation, and everything becomes disrupted, then destroyed.
A Reality — Today’s Biodiversity
Today is challenging for biodiversity, and as with anything of decency, a fistful of truth and good, often must be learned. Time is now of the essence, and rather than stand and defend itself among those who lie, cheat, and swindle, in order to make money, and who do not improve the plight of wildlife and environments alike, we must aggressively start approaching resolutions, and meet the negative and challenging situations straight-on.
Human-caused changes in the ecosystem will continue, as will global warming and will be a direct attritional negative value, of human indulgence upon itself. Fencing areas in because one may have a Grazing Permit, as with our Public Lands and Welfare Ranching, is symbolic of taking something innocent and non-invasive, and quite frankly destroying it for greed and knowledgably favoring corruption at the same time. This is Economic Ecology at its worst, and favoring a single-invasive-species, such as cattle, defies science in total, and has for many decades and even centuries’ over time.
The fact is our own power, our personal power is limited. Our power comes from many people speaking up and standing strong and against those that would keep perpetuating circumstances that will ultimately destroy our ecological habitats, our environmental Landscapes, and finally our human-species, and all due to ignorance.
Human activities have caused eutrophication of lakes, acid rain pollution, erosion due to negative land use and poor management of lands and poorly constructed roads, introduction of exotic species such as cattle and wreaks havoc with lands not receptive to cattle (i.e. an invasive species) what so ever, and habitat fragmentation or the separation of healthy ecological habitats by fencing them off and placing invasive and exotic species onto fenced in locations –
We need to identify what holds a healthy ecosystem together. We have very fine examples, although, and attention must be paid to those circumstances that actually developed into a positive lands value. What was the interactions between the top carnivores, for example, their strengths and direction they took, their niche and how it created a positive value as a top-down keystone predator within the trophical cascade ideology (proven with sound data and good science time and again)? Then we take it even further, and consider what are the unique elements of each island-habitat, and how are these components of a system directly sensitive to change, and the breaking points beyond which restoration may not be possible.
Human needs also need to be placed into this equation, within a common-sense aspect. All of the best intentions, I believe, will simply not work if we do not place the human factor into them. If you have not already guessed, it is simply wise to integrate humans into the equation with wildlife, as achieving a sustainability for biodiversity and whole ecosystems – and for humans and wildlife and for the habitat they require.
The extension of this article, is to explain the mapping operation of obtaining our goals. Make no doubt it is a bumpy road, as always conservation and resource management always has been, and always will be.
I liked the explanation a friend stated the other day, “Our road, John, is fraught with bumpy roads, unexpected curves, and challenges beyond imagination. But you and I are the utility vehicles, and we were meant to do this, and those challenges although daunting as they are and will be, but always doable for us. Keep that in mind.”